Pork: The Pragmatic Politician’s Best Friend

One of the weird things about writing for magazines is the lead time. Before I left for Ireland, I had just finished all the final proofing on my piece for the next issue. It’s been pretty much the only thing on my mind for the past two months.

But today, up popped “Bring Back Pork” on my RSS feed. What? When did I write that? Oh yeah: back in May. Then it missed the next issue, and ended up in the current one. And now it’s online. I practically don’t even remember it.

But it’s great! You should read it! It’s all about how pork barrel politics is one of those malodorous things that unfortunately seems to be necessary to well-lubricated dealmaking among homo sapiens. So we should hold our noses and let it happen as long as it stays within reasonable bounds.

Party polarization is so far gone these days that I doubt it would make much of a difference if the current pork ban were rescinded, but it might someday. For better or worse, we’re humans, not Vulcans, and this is a case where being too virtuous can actually make things worse.

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