Beyond that, though, I think his hand was forced this weekend when not only did Boehner and Cantor come out in support of an earmark ban but even Obama talked up earmark reform in his weekly address. Siding against the new Speaker and his class of tea partiers would have been tough enough for McConnell, but ending up on the wrong side of the issue from The One? Unthinkable. His reelection bid would have been over before it began.
McConnell’s predilection to wavering under pressure may have worked to the advantage of fiscal conservatism this time, but it would be a pleasant change to see a Senate Majority Leader with more resolve.