January 30, 2006

MICHAEL BARONE:

I haven’t seen a defense of pork barrel spending in the blogosphere recently, so let me make one. The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to argue that pork barrel spending was politically benign because it was one way for an administration or for the congressional leadership to hold together a majority that could act decisively on other, more important issues.

Expensive, perhaps, but a small price to pay in order to assure functioning government.

Such unwritten-constitution arrangements, however, require self-discipline to function properly. That seems to be in exceptionally short supply among our political class today.