George Will weighed in today in his column on Tom Coburn and his efforts to dismantle the process of pork barrelling.
Coburn is the most dangerous creature that can come to the Senate, someone simply uninterested in being popular. When Speaker Dennis Hastert defends earmarks — spending dictated by individual legislators for specific projects — by saying that a member of Congress knows best where a stoplight ought to be placed, Coburn, in an act of lese-majeste, responds: Members of Congress are the least qualified to make such judgments.
Recently, when a Republican colleague called to say ”his constituency” would not allow him to support Coburn on some measure, Coburn tartly told the senator that ”there is not one mention in the oath (of office) of your state.” Senators are just not talked to that way under the ponderous rituals of vanity that the Senate pretends are mere politeness.
Says Dr. Coburn of his efforts to root out earmarks:
I’m not liked very well,but I’m like the gopher that’s going to keep on digging until someone spears me or traps me. I’m going to keep on digging the tunnel under spending.
I’m an American long before I’m a Republican, and I’m a granddad before I’m either one of them.