"It's a war of attrition, not a quick hit," writes Glenn Reynolds, hot off "an interesting conference call with Sen. Coburn and several other bloggers":
We discussed a lot of ways to increase transparency in funding bills, and it was clear that (1) the White House is beginning to feel the heat; and (2) this will be going on over the next year.
It was noted that the word "earmark," while technically accurate, didn't have the same resonance . . . One of the key points discussed is how 'sunshine' is the enemy of pork barrel earmark spending. The process has been deliberately gamed by Congress to provide as little light on last minute changes, congressional earmarks, and other sundry spending tricks. As the "Bridge To Nowhere" episode showed, when pork-filled projects attached onto large appropriation bills are spotlighted, it becomes very uncomfortable for legislators to stand up and fight for boondoggles.
"I took [Sen. Coburn's] message to the blogosphere to be: 'Those of us in the Senate who are serious about cutting spending need the blogosphere's help to make it happen,'" reports John Hawkins of Right Wing News:
So, if you're a blogger looking to hammer away on government spending, hit it hard!
"The Coburn amendments were decisively voted down, but markers were laid down in the process, and millions of Americans were watching closely as senators cast their votes on the proposals," observes Mark of Tapscott's Copy Desk:
As a result, those votes may well have more to do with the future career prospects of a number of senators who opposed Coburn than any of them, or the mainstream media, now realize.
Let's hope so. We're on the case as a fellow PorkBuster trying to put our squealing Taxachusetts troughsmen's trotters to the fire, but beyond what we can do, we're most encouraged by Glenn Reynolds's impression that "the White House is beginning to feel the heat."