In 2006, when Nancy Pelosi railed against the “culture of corruption”, I had some slight hope that she might be an agent of reform. Now it appears that what upset her was not so much the corruption, but the fact that corruption was benefiting Republicans rather than Democrats. Now the Republicans are in a reforming mood (being out of power), but Speaker Pelosi seems to have lost her zeal. Lord Acton was right:
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”
To be fair, there are people who claim that earmarking is a sensible way to do business. They have to make a stronger argument to convince me.