Palin’s principled move in the right direction

We all know that the turning point in the public mind for John Kerry’s candidacy was his famous “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it” when speaking of his ultimate vote against military appropriations for Afghanistan and Vietnam.  Voters were left with the impression that this was a man who was so layered in random nuance and political calculation that, when he actually had to make a stand, he turned his back on principles and went with poll-driven expediency.

Democrats are now trying to make the same play against Sarah Palin by pointing to the fact that she used to accept substantial earmarks for Wasilla, and that she was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it.  What they don’t get is that her trajectory is completely different from Kerry’s.

Kerry went from an acceptable decision to an unacceptable one.  Palin, however, traveled in the other direction:  She went from making bad decisions to making good decisions.  She had an upward learning curve, both at a practical and a values level.  As she mastered governance, she opted for principles over politics as usual.  I think that’s something to applaud, not to insult.

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  1. Mike Devx says

    I have finally found an article that lays out the timeline on the Bridge To Nowhere very well.

    It’s conclusion is most notable, but it lays out in devastating detail how Obama and Biden were part of the get-along, go-along crowd on the Bridge To Nowhere; and how McCain definitely was NOT.

    Its conclusion:
    So the facts are plain. When it mattered, Gov. Palin stood up to Sen. Stevens and dealt the Bridge to Nowhere its death blow. This is something the U.S. Congress and senators Obama and Biden failed to do on multiple occasions.

    And while it’s true that John McCain, unlike his running mate, has always opposed pork-barrel earmarks, Sarah Palin, unlike Obama and Biden, did the right thing when it counted most and stopped an egregious example of earmark abuse. And now, of course, Palin has joined McCain in calling for an end to earmarks.

    Isn’t it better to come around to the right position than to keep on being wrong?

    The details of the article are well worth reading. You can contrast how Obama and Biden fell in line when the loathsome Ted Stevens ranted in the Senate:

    Stevens: “I come to warn the Senate, if you want a wounded bull on the floor of the Senate, pass this amendment. I stood here and watched Senator Allen teach the Senate lesson after lesson after something was done to Alabama that he didn’t like. I don’t threaten people; I promise people.

    Unfortunately, most senators chose Ted Stevens over the taxpayers. The result was shameful: Coburn’s amendment got only 15 votes. John McCain missed that vote, although Obama and Biden both buckled to Stevens and voted against the amendment. Moulitsas commented afterward that “Those who voted against these amendments have zero credibility on issues of fiscal responsibility. Zero.”

    And you can contrast that with how Governor Palin has repeatedly stood up to Ted Stevens on earmarks since she became governor and decided to fight. Her biggest success, against the loathsome Ted Stevens and his pressure politics, was killing the Bridge To Nowhere.

    She did it.

  2. suek says

    The difference between the alternatives is that one says: Yes…I was of that opinion, but for these reasons, I’ve changed my mind.” The other says: “I haven’t changed my position – that’s what I’ve always said”. And to a certain extent, that’s true – the second person has stated both positions, perhaps even held the possibility of both, but in the end, a person has to take a position. Has to make a decision. Has to be with us or against us. And if the person who is supposed to be in charge cannot make a decision, or in some cases, delays decision, the results can be disastrous.

    Paralysis by analysis.

    To say nothing about the person who never wants to say “No” to _anybody_. Different problem, same result.

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