With all the controversy that surrounds earmarks it seems that many have forgotten that some politicians got where they are by pursuing them. The task at hand for congressmen today has become somewhat more sophisticated with public opinion siding with a more cautious spending scheme. Despite this, public opinion will also turn against most members who have failed to "bring home the bacon". Some in congress have cultivated an image devoted to fiscal conservatism and express no qualms about appropriations going elsewhere. Both Senators McCain and Inhofe have bragging rights in this endeavor, however other congressmen may find such a task impossible. Economically depressed regions may boot out a pol for not attracting investment. Nearly every election year voters are bombarded with commercials where one incumbent or another is either criticized or lauded for their failure or success in bringing a multinational corporation or public works project to the area.
There is also the practice of comity that suffers when one legislator sets out to oppose another’s initiatives. Opposing earmarks also may appear as grandstanding to other legislators who may decide not to cooperate with such a person in the future.