Thursday, December 15, 2005

William Proxmire

Former Senator William Proxmire of Wisconsin dies earlier this morning.

Sen. Proxmire was independent, ornery, curmudgeonly, and probably the best friend the American taxpayer ever had.

Proxmire's "Golden Fleece Awards" shone a spotlight on governmental waste and inefficiency that had reached a sublime lever of idiocy. Among the gems uncovered by Proxmire were the Army's 17 page set of instructions on how to purchase worcestershire sauce, a federal study on why tennis players cheat, and the Environmental Protection Agency's allocation of $1.2 million to preseve a New Jersey sewer line as a historic monument.

Of course, Sen. Proxmire never got too upset about milk price supports, but I suppose we can indulge him for a bit of pariochialism.

In an a day when partisan loyalty seems to have replaced principle, independence and old fashioned common sense, we would be wise to look back on the example set by Bill Proxmire. This weekend, raise a glass of egg nog to someone who exemplified what's right about politics.

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