Friday, December 6 2013 8:51 PM EST2013-12-07 01:51:42 GMT
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Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell is taking what I believe to be a lot of undeserved criticism for his recent change of position on the issue of congressional earmarks.
Because he previously supported the practice of attaching unrelated spending appropriations for local projects to larger pieces of legislation, he's now being called a "flip-flopper" by some after deciding to support a moratorium on any further use of the practice.
But let's think about that.
The truth is, for many years earmarks worked as part of the "give and take" process that produced the majority votes necessary to pass legislation. And while the economy supported it, Mr. McConnell used the system to benefit Kentucky greatly.
But a combination of changing economic realities and repeated abuses of the earmark system have made the American public say "Enough!" And when voters voiced their anger at the polls this year, the Senator chose to listen.
Do his critics think he should ignore their wishes just to remain stubbornly consistent? If it's raining today, should you leave your umbrella home simply because it was sunny yesterday?
Mindless rigidity in the face of change benefits no one. That's why Mr. McConnell's willingness to change his mind on this issue to acknowledge new political realities is a sign of strength – not weakness.