In a 2007 column, I argued that members of Congress cannot be shamed out of their parochial pork pulling because they have no shame; they are proud of grabbing as many taxpayer dollars as they can for their districts and states. The latest illustration: Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), locally beloved and nationally reviled for funneling federal funds to Johnston, Pennylvania, while collecting campaign-contribution kickbacks, defends his perfectly legal theft of taxpayer money in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
If I'm corrupt, it's because I take care of my district….My job as a member of Congress is to make sure that we take care of what we see is necessary. Not the bureaucrats who are unelected over there in whatever White House, whether it's Republican or Democrat. Those bureaucrats would like to control everything. Every president would like to have all the power and not have Congress change anything. But we're closest to the people.
[via Glenn Thrush at Politico]