Senator Robert Byrd has passed from this world, ending a 58-year perch in power, the longest stint in the entire history of Congress.
Politics isn’t a sport, though sometimes it’s blood-sport . . . thus there’s no jersey to retire.
So what do you offer to the memory of a man who in life already appropriated nearly everything possible? What’s the proper homage to the King of Pork?
Retire the earmark, once and for all.
Congress had a good run with earmarked pork barrel spending, and Byrd was that run’s poster boy. He had bridges named after him, highways and freeways and a stadium or two. Airports. Special rooms in the legislative wing. All paid for by taxpayers, most often funded by Congress through sneaking said projects into legislation without requiring a separate, conscious and above-board vote.
You might think it nicer, if not wiser, to commemorate the man for his habit of keeping a pocket Constitution on his person at all times. Or for his knowledge of history. Or arcane Senate rules. Certainly, it wouldn’t be polite to mention his “youthful” organizing of his state’s KKK.
But West Virginia’s senior senator was so closely associated with self-aggrandizing earmarked spending that no other honor comes close — we should push for a true monument to outshine all others. And that’s why I suggest cutting out the earmark.
Make the porkers squeal.
And let the tumult stand as a salute to Sen. Byrd.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.