Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Evolving Standards

In Sunday's BDN, we learn that Susan Collins opposes the line-item veto:

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said the president and Congress need to work together to hold spending in line. She said the president's proposal would fundamentally change the balance of power and she cannot support such a shift.
But does Collins oppose giving line-item veto authority to the president on principle? Or does she just oppose giving it to this president?

If I'm reading this 2008 candidate questionnaire correctly, it would appear the latter. Scroll down to "Campaign Finance and Government Reform Issues" and you'll see that Collins put an 'x' on the line affirming that she, "Support[s] giving the President the power of the line item veto for items concerning appropriations."

I'm not sure which is more depressing: That Mal Leary--who's widely thought of as one of the better reporters in Maine--just takes dictation from the junior senator and doesn't think to do a twenty second Google search for her past position on the issue.

Or that Collins gets away with this sort of thing with total impunity--and press complicity--even though in most states it would be a headline-grabbing snafu, generating loads of media commentary.

Don't get me wrong, Collins has been guilty of a whole heap of unremarked upon hypocrisy over the last two years--on presidential appointments, the wars, arresting terrorists, and health care--to name but four areas.

But if Project Vote Smart's questionnaire is accurate, it's hard to think of a more blatant example than this.

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