Monday, January 7, 2008

More Hill-ocrisy

After the debate the other night, it seems Hillary's new "change" message includes accusing Obama of not doing enough to work for change because the lobbying reforms he helped push through are inadequate. While I personally question the effectiveness of a lot of those lobbying reforms, the impulse for such reforms is certainly well-placed. It's also pretty well-acknowledged that the reforms Obama has pushed through (working with Sen. Feingold, I might add) are in fact quite comprehensive. Are there loopholes? Yes, but that's because it's impossible to create lobbying reform without loopholes, which is one of the reasons I generally question its effectiveness. It's also worth pointing out that Obama, along with McCain and Feingold, was one of the few senators who actually opposed the 2006 "reforms" that were essentially just window-dressing. Hillary? Not so much.

But for Hillary of all people to question Obama's commitment to change on something like ethics reform is beyond the pale. Hillary is after all one of the greats when it comes to pushing through earmarks in appropriations bills. In the recent omnibus appropriations bill, she pushed through 261 earmarks, about 5 times as many as any other Presidential candidate. Obama, by comparison had the second fewest of the Senators who were in the race. My understanding of many of his earmarks, by the way, is also that he was just one of several co-sponsors for them, which suggests they are far less shady. Unfortunately, I can't find the source for that understanding right now.