It’s hard to say whether Rand Paul or Roy Blunt is the bigger jerk and hypocrite. Paul tells the Wall Street Journal that all that stuff about earmarks was just for show.

In a bigger shift from his campaign pledge to end earmarks, [Paul] tells me that they are a bad “symbol” of easy spending but that he will fight for Kentucky’s share of earmarks and federal pork, as long as it’s doled out transparently at the committee level and not parachuted in in the dead of night. “I will advocate for Kentucky’s interests,” he says.

So you’re not a crazy libertarian? “Not that crazy,” he cracks.

Two days ago, he told Christine Amanpour that he would accept no earmarks.

Meanwhile, Mr. Blunt is still pretending that the GOP is about balanced budgets, even as he acknowledges that it’s all a joke.

Mr. Blunt, who is 60, took no detours. His résumé includes his 10-year stint as a powerbroker during the party’s previous House majority. He was right-hand man to former Majority Leader Tom DeLay and in his own right a powerful dispenser of patronage and influence. Mr. Blunt engineered tough votes for the 2003 prescription drug benefit and, in the last months of the Bush term, the financial bailout. He was an effective whip…

…Relaxed, in a open-collar blue shirt, Mr. Blunt starts off by pointing out that he was a hard budget hawk before it became popular. “I led the only fight we had in 10 years to cut the mandatory spending programs,” he says, referring to the congressional budget debate in late 2005. As whip, he recalls no one ever called to thank him. Republicans only wanted him to save their pet projects…

Of course, the prescription drug benefit was not paid for. The financial bailout was not paid for, although the TARP portion will be earned back thanks to the stewardship of the Obama administration. The truth is that Republicans didn’t appreciate Blunt’s efforts to slash spending. They are about two things: power and the looting that power makes possible.

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