Ali Frick and Wolf Blitzer point out that as recently as September 23, John McCain thought it would be “unacceptable” to add any earmarks to a bailout package:
Of course he voted for just such an “unacceptable” bill yesterday. We see here not only some hypocrisy, but once again the fundamentally impractical nature of McCain’s thinking on these issues. All things considered, rampant earmarking isn’t a good thing and I think we should consider it a considerable weakness of America’s system of weak party discipline and many legislative veto points. But given the need to pass legislation in the institutional set-up we have, if allowing some earmarks is the best way to get an important bill passed, then of course you add the earmarks. Even McCain, in practice, seems to recognize this.