Last week an anti-war Democrat told me nothing could buy his vote in favor of the Iraq war-funding bill that his leadership is whipping so hard. "It isn't about that this time. This is different," he said. Like the others in his lonely band of hold-outs, he finds the task of voting to approve $124 billion more for the war he opposed not just unseemly but impossible.

There will be lawmakers in both parties who don't have the luxury or the stomach to avoid the Democrats' trap. The House leaders are turning up the heat with billions in long-sought dollars for Katrina recovery, drought damage, veterans and children's health and spinach farmers struggling after the E. coli outbreak. In many cases the lawmakers whose districts will benefit didn't submit requests, but they would be hard-pressed to tell their voters they voted against them, particularly when the Democratic attack ads will also accuse them of not only turning their backs on crucial funds but choosing to prolong an unpopular war as well.

Democrats knew which earmarks to insert — many are old requests the Republican Congress failed to pass — and are declaring them true "emergencies." Tuesday morning House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the bill, while "almost entirely for national security," is an appropriate place for the stuffers, which add up to $21 billion MORE than President Bush requested.

After campaigning against the GOP control of Congress and its pork binge in particular, Democrats are finding sometimes you must legislate the old-fashioned way. And who can blame them? Since they have committed to "pay-go" budget rules from now on, this supplemental "emergency" bill was the only place for such politically popular bonuses. With that in mind, it's amazing they didn't go $210 billion over Bush's request.