Pork: The Pragmatic Politician’s Best Friend

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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polarization is so far gone these days that I doubt it would make much of a difference if the current pork ban were rescinded, but it might someday.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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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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