Lawmakers, of course, represent narrower constituencies. In contrast to Bush, re-elected in 2004 with more than 62 million votes, Rep. Hobson, secured his reelection in 2006 with only 138,000 votes. Legendary porker Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) won statewide election with the support of a mere 179,000 voters. No wonder these lawmakers' views skew to the parochial.
But just how skewed becomes clear only when you hear something like Hobson's jarringly pathetic assessment of his 18-year congressional career. "I'm probably more proud of this earmark," he said of the SuperAmerica gas station largesse, "and what it will do in the future than anything I've ever done."
When veteran lawmakers are reduced to uttering such inanities, it is way past time to stop the earmark madness.
Michael Franc is vice president of government relations for the Heritage Foundation.