Changing Their Tune  

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11/6/2005 2:47 pm

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3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Changing Their Tune


Changing Their Tune

The Week

11/4/2005

To stand on principle, a politician needs the flexibility of a yoga instructor and a short memory. Changing circumstances inevitably create the need for an entirely new position on “the rule of law,” “the will of the people,” or other such noble abstractions. Consider the ongoing debate over the president’s Supreme Court nominations. Not long ago, Republicans insisted that every one of President Bush’s nominees deserved a “straight up-or-down vote” in the Senate. Anything less was a constitutional outrage–a usurpation of power from the executive branch. Then along came Harriet Miers. Many Republicans didn’t think very highly of her ideological bona fides, and clamored for the president to withdraw her nomination. An up-or-down vote was no longer deemed necessary. Meanwhile, the same Democrats who professed shock that conservatives would veto poor Ms. Miers on ideological grounds are now insisting that Judge Samuel Alito’s ideology might warrant his rejection.

And so it goes. Remember when Bill Clinton got caught lying under oath about a sex act? Anguished Democrats cried that the charge was trivial, while grave Republicans intoned that perjury was a serious crime. Now that Dick Cheney’s top aide stands accused of perjury, Democrats are horrified anyone might tell an untruth. Republicans, on the other hand, are griping about prosecuting fine public servants over mere “technicalities.” It’s to be expected, really: Politics is a rugby scrum, not ballet. It’s about ideas some of the time, and self-interest most of the time, but very rarely is politics about principles. Both parties will say and do whatever is necessary to win. We might all be less cynical if the players of this game, now and then, would just admit that.

William Falk
Editor-in-chief

***I think that taking time to post URLs to favorite travel, alternative and overseas media news sites, etc. and converting to "AdultFriendFinder" is pretty crass. What do the admin nazis think I'm posting in my blog?****


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