Senator Barack Obama continues to run for President against the Republican Vice-Presidential Candidate. He does this against the leafy, green background of his former opponent, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton actually directing her campaign speeches on Barack Obama’s behalf against the Republican Presidential Candidate Senator John McCain. It’s almost as if she means to implicitly criticize Senator Obama’s judgment.
Senator Obama’s latest salvo against Governor Sarah Palin consists of his claim that she was for “The Bridge to Nowhere” before she was against it. This seems like it could gain him some yardage. Perhaps it could even prevent his continued retrograde in nearly every major snapshot poll that currently tracks the Presidential Race. By-gum he’s finally chucked some mud against the wall that could actually stick.
According to the latest, revised, Andrew Sullivanized version of The Truth™, Governor Palin initially supported the bridge until she reevaluated the monetary and normative costs of the bridge to her state. That would mean at one time, she favored the bridge, later, after further review, she reversed her opinion. Flip-Flop.
But wait just a cotton-picking minute. Barack Obama, and his ever wise and sagacious running mate, “Fightin’” Joe Biden, voted for the nefarious Bridge to Nowhere, and then… they voted for it. They are models of partisan consistency, no matter how morally bankrupt the idea they get told by the party whip to push through the legislative sausage factory. No Flip-Flop from Senator Change on this one.
Senator Barack Obama was resolute in his desire to build that Bridge to Nowhere; regardless of the opportunity cost. So dedicated was Senator Obama to building that bridge, that he turned down the opportunity to use that money instead, on Hurricane Katrina relief.
However, Sen. Biden and Sen. Obama voted for funding the Bridge, even when given a second chance by Sen. Tom Coburn, who proposed shifting earmark funds to Katrina relief.
Senator Coburn may not have meant his amendment in the kindest way possible. He is a trenchant opponent of Congressional Ward-Healing, er, I mean, earmarks. Senator Coburn is such a crazy Right-Wing bigot, that he probably even favors a Balanced Budget Amendment.
You see, Senator Coburn, Senator McCain and Governor Palin all want the working poor to suffer. Unlike the wonderful Senator Obama, who has earmarked over $740M for his state since his election, these guys are just too mean to bring home the bacon and share the wealth. It would be heart-breaking for Reverend Michael Pfleger to go without his earmarks.
When asked about his policies on earmarks, Senator Obama positively joined the Prawn Paul Revolution.
“My philosophy was that, if money was being distributed, then it would be inappropriate for me to not get my share for my district," Obama, now one of the U.S. Senate Democrats' leaders on ethics reform, said in an interview. "Did I think it was the best way to prioritize government spending? No."
He didn’t like it, blah, blah, blah. It was a dirty game, waah, waah, waah. But if everybody else did it….Yeah, that’s sure change we can all believe in.
There are times when politicians change their minds. Sometimes, this is mendacious. Other times, it shows evidence of positive brain activity. John McCain was no fan of offshore drilling; when gasoline cost less than $3.00 per gallon. Sarah Palin eventually took a second look at the Bridge to Nowhere.
She realized it was stupid and immoral. If that constitutes a flip-flop or a double-deal, good on her for measuring twice; and then cutting once. Joe Biden had the same opportunity.
Barack Obama had more than one crack at deciding to build or not build the Bridge to Nowhere as well. It was like an IBM commercial that used to run during NFL games; You Make The Call. Hurricane Katrina relief or the Bridge to Nowhere; you make the call, Barack Obama.
And that, more than anything on either Barack Obama’s or Sarah Palin’s easily readable resumes defines the role of a president. They are executives, we expect them to execute. To do that, they have to decide. The Presidency, like life as a whole, is all about the choices we make.
Making sound choices requires judgment. It should allow for the leader to change her or his mind when overtaken rapidly by the facts on the ground. Either you have the flexibility to change, or you go along to get along, and then eventually life takes your two bit butt and makes change.
It was empathetic, friendly and even mightily bipartisan of Senator Obama not to hurt the feelings of Senator Ted Stevens. It was a strong, moral decision of executive-level caliber to kill said bridge in opposition to her political party, and in apposition to where Governor Palin may have initially stood on the issue. If Senator Stevens wants to visit a remote and barren island, let him wrap his feelings in wet suit and swim the God-forsaken Channel.
Cross-Posted At: THE MIGHTY TMR