Liberalism requires bribes to succeed
I loved this take from The Captain on the column which ran in The New Republic claiming that pork was necessary for liberal policies to be enacted.
Plumer's argument amounts to an admission that the kind of big-government, intrusive spending that will come from perennial policy stands of progressives has no chance of succeeding through democratic means. The only way in which single-payer health care and greater federal protections for unions can ever pass is to have a built-in bribery mechanism to sway enough votes for massive growth in the federal government.
I agree with him on that point, and it demonstrates the corrosive nature of pork better than anything I've previously written. Fundamentally, pork undermines democracy. It greases legislation that clearly could not command a majority into law, not through superior rhetoric or demonstrated competency but through payoffs and extortion.