This is something remarkable. The conservative NRO blog has an article which, up to a couple of sentences, would fit as a diary here at dKos. The author Rich Lowry, one of the National Review editors. Here is how the article goes:

Democrats complain of a “culture of corruption” in the Republican-controlled Congress, and they are right in one respect: The spending process has been so twisted by the Republican majority that it has become inherently dirty.

The instruments of this perversion are “earmarks,” special provisions attached to spending bills that direct federal money to specific projects. Earmarks are how Congress diverts spending to pork-barrel local priorities and to other special interests. This practice has long existed, but Republicans have made it part of the fabric of their governing.

The article gives numbers:

In 1994, there were 4,126 earmarks in the 13 appropriations bills. In 2004, there were 14,040. This year’s highway bill alone had 6,371 earmarks. An industry has grown up around this specially designated money.

The number of firms registered to lobby members on the appropriations committees increased from 1,865 to 3,523 between 2000 and 2004, according to Knight Ridder. For relatively small fees to lobbyists and donations to congressmen, corporations and localities can get a big payoff.

So conservatives were certain what corruption is in 1994. Little did they know… How the current state of affairs should be named, “supercorruption”?

Then a few examples are given, quite telling. As I said, you can just put that full article here as a diary. The only part where we would clearly dissagree is the penultimate paragraph:

It is hard to imagine a practice or culture more inimical to the spirit of the Republicans who took over Congress in 1994. A decade later, the GOP has embraced the tactics of the corrupt, free-spending Democrats they overthrew. Meet the new appropriator, same as the old appropriator.

Oh no… The difference between the new and old “appropriators” is like a difference between a porno star and a drunk slut. (Sorry, I am inspired by the Rude Pundit.) What is hard to imagine is a Republican congressman who would refuse a fat mutual “contribution”.

Rich Lowry even admits:

Cunningham might have been exceptional in his lack of subtlety, but other congressmen work much the same way. Last week, it was revealed that Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R., Mich.), inserted an earmark into a transportation bill that forced Amtrak to haul additional private freight cars or forgo $8.3 million in additional federal dollars. The freight cars in question belonged to ExpressTrak, a company whose owner is a big Knollenberg donor. Knollenberg now says he is going to rescind the earmark, showing that some members of Congress are still capable of being shamed.

Yeah, Cunningham got ashamed too. Not every congressman can be “subtle” for ever.

P.S. The sign off of the article is a stark contrast nevertheless:

— Rich Lowry is author of Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years.

Ah, those disastrous terrible Clinton years… What price will we pay for the Bushy “booming” years?

[ Crossposted at dKos. ]

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