Congressman John Murtha recently shot himself in the foot by calling his own constituents “racist” and “rednecks” while campaigning for Barack Obama in Pennsylvania. Despite being one of Congress’ Princes of Pork and his rather dismal view of his state’s citizens, NBC is now projecting that Murtha will retain his seat in the House of Representatives. Murtha is a veritable poster boy for term limits. What has been a bad night for Republicans just got worse with this presumptive Murtha win.
Meanwhile, despite his record of pork-barrel politics, Kentuckians have apparently re-elected Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to a 5th term. In fact, unlike many other incumbents, McConnell trotted out his “bring-home-the-bacon” credentials during the campaign as if they were a net-positive:
The Senate Republican leader, facing an unexpectedly tough re-election race, tells diners that his stature and seniority bring dollars-and-cents benefits to the area: $2 million for a job training center, $720,000 to a historic preservation group, $1 million for sewer lines. The flow of federal cash to Kentucky will slow to a trickle, McConnell says, unless voters pick him for a fifth six-year term.
“Your senator, the guy you’re looking at, delivered $500 million for the commonwealth,” McConnell says.
Charming. Far from being a fiscal conservative McConnell’s record on spending represents a lot of what has been wrong with the Bush administration’s budget policies. I suppose we should all be grateful that the Democrats did not achieve the super-majority in the Senate they’d dreamed of, and yet, 24 years of Mitch McConnell would have been enough.