I see the Wall Street Journal is now marketing Indiana Republican Represantive Mike Pence as a "military and fiscal hawk." One's first thought is that it's an oxymoron, on the order of "chaste debauchery." There's nothing more tiresome than the public figure--there are swarms of them--who ladle out the goodies to the hogs at the military trough while trumpeting their own budgetary rectitude.
Indeed critics like to climb on Pence the selectivity of his hawkery, as he beats his breast for budget restraint, with a compassionate exception for pork in his own state.
On the narrow issue of inconsistency, I'm almost willing to give him a bye: I can't think of any politician of either party who has ever survived while attacking a dominant economic interest on his home turf. My notion is that Pence is one of those who have figured out how to talk the talk on defense cuts, knowing they will never have to walk the walk. Oh, I voted against that. You mean I lost? Oh, what a shame.
I suspect we are in for a regular old bacchanal of such hypocrisy from the incoming Republican House majority as they pick and choose their way through the cafeteria of spending mandates, trimming here, snipping there, slashing others with a Bowie knife, all the time knowing that the Senate (or if need be, the President) will save them from themselves. And we will continue our established practice of maintaining a military budget bigger than just about all the others in the world combined.
So I think I was right the first time: military and fiscal hawk? No such thing. Or if there is, Pence ain't one.