I’ve said it a number of times here in the past: the real power is in the US Congress. Presidents can negotiate with foreign leaders, take military action (to an extent), and manage the administration as approved (more or less) by Congress. And then a little here and there with Presidential Executive Orders. And of course, the President can submit legislation and veto bills (it’s rather insignificant to mention the power to sign bills into law, but it is there). But the President cannot get the legislation to his/her desk without Congress passing the bills.
And the President cannot stop Congress from creating earmarks. I take a story from BitsBlog in toto :
WASHINGTON – FOX-  The Senate rejected calls from both parties’ presidential candidates to take an election-year break from pork-barrel spending as a Democratic-run Congress passed budget plans that would torpedo hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts won by President Bush.
I make the point again: We’ve tried deacdes of Democrat-dominated Congresses. We’ve tried it with Democrat run congresses with a razor thin majority for them. We’ve tried Congresses with a razor thin majority for the Republicans. The one thing we’ve not tried is a Reublican dominated Congress. One with a large enough majority that the Republicans are not beholding to their own left to get every vote they can.
Nothing else has worked. Can we try a true Republican dominated Congress, now?
I strongly agree with BitHead’s assertion here. How can we continue to sit idly by watching a Congress that calmly thumbs its collective nose at us? Unacceptable! We talk and talk about how if we’re not happy with our representatives, we should hold them accountable at the polls. It’s time we did that.
Here is a list of the senators that voted against the earmark moratorium (from the US Senate Web Site ). Pay close attention to this list:
All three senators that are running for President voted in favor of this amendment. 3 other Democrats (Bayh, Feingold, and McCaskill) also voted in favor. As you can see, quite a few Republicans also voted against it, which should make us just as unhappy as the Democrats. This is truly disappointing. I think you’ll notice that almost all of the Republicans on this list have been around for a while. I say vote them out as well and get some fresh conservative blood in there.