The spectacle of House Republicans taking a pledge to swear off "earmarks" reminds us of the drunk trying to prove he's sober by lying on the floor without holding on.
House Republicans are in their annual conference ("retreat" might be the more apt word) at the fabulous Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., where the filthy rich have been going for more than a century to soak their hams in stinky water.
Republican congress critters have more cause than most for public repentance, though this bunch goes about it with such unearned self-righteousness that the possibility of actual enlightenment seems distant.
Apparently, the Republicans had a knock-down dragout of an argument about whether to swear off the crack-pipe. We know where Madam Virginia Foxx was positioned in that debate, since she's been proclaiming her born-again attitude toward earmarks all over the 5th Dist. The "Madam Teapot" nickname seems to have stuck.
Their gambit is to go cold turkey -- after the years they've spent in a dead drunk stupor of special-interest spending -- and then blame Democrats for everything. It's always worked in the past, right? Because, whereas members of Congress may be sots, the general public are evidently dolts, eager to be bamboozled.
Maybe not any more. Or maybe yes, still. But if the Republicans get religion, and if the Democrats prove answerable to peer pressure -- which we hope they are -- then we'll all be a little bit better served.