Buried deep in today’s Post and Courier story detailing last years news (literally) about Rep. Henry Brown’s record setting spending on congressional mail, is news that voters in his district are more practical about earmark reform than, say, Sen. Jim DeMint, who playfully refers to himself as “The Earmark Grinch.”

(Brown’s) most recent questionnaire … asked “Do you believe that I, as your Congressman, should continue to fight to get our fair share of funding for needed projects?”

Even though Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., has been leading the anti-earmark fight, more than 90 percent of the respondents told Brown to keep fighting for such projects.

Brown said he isn’t surprised. If he didn’t fight for those earmarks, the projects would depend on the favorable view of assorted bureaucrats, he said.

“Somehow or another, the media has got it so there’s a bad connotation for spending on pork items, but they don’t sense that those items we’re spending are pork. Isn’t that kind of amazing?” he asked.

This is the argument I’ve been making to folks around here — how do you rally strong against earmarks without endangering the aid the state receives? It’s not that the last danish won’t be eaten if we don’t take it. The problem is that if we don’t take the last danish, somebody else will.

Of course, the real challenge for Brown will be in convincing voters that they still need a “Republican workhorse” in a Democratic Congress.

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