Ken Connor

The tragedy is that, when it comes to incumbents, both parties tend to look a lot alike. Again and again legislators from both parties take advantage of unethical perks and waste taxpayer money with frivolous earmarks. Because both parties are knee-deep in the mud, and seemingly enjoying it, neither party has been willing to truly change. While their rhetoric is sometimes noteworthy, there are rarely sufficient results to back it up.

Part of the problem is that many of the advocacy groups in Washington see what's happening but never say anything, for fear of hurting their preferred party's reputation. Republican groups give Republicans a pass, and Democratic groups give Democrats a pass. This is especially sad when the groups who are looking the other way are Christian groups, but unfortunately it happens all the time.

As we enter this new Congressional era, we should all resolve to hold each other accountable. It is clear that fiscally irresponsible spending, earmarks that do not benefit the common good, and political corruption, are not in America's interest. Therefore, whether you are a liberal or a conservative, a Christian or an atheist, a Republican or a Democrat, let's all speak with one voice and call our legislators to account.

As for the recently "born-again" Republicans, it is truly unfortunate that they did not live by the standard that they now affirm when they had the majority. Nevertheless, America is a land of second chances, and the born-again budget cutters and born-again earmark reformers are saying the right things. Now we can only hope that this is a lasting conversion.

Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.