Wednesday, January 13, 2010

So What Else is New?

"Democrats show contempt for the governed."
But Coakley and Kirk are merely responding to the dishonorable example set at the very top. C-SPAN CEO Brian Lamb is complaining that President Obama repeatedly promised in his election campaign that he would open the final health care negotiations to the public and have them broadcast on C-SPAN--a promise the administration now refuses even to discuss. As my friend Jack Wakeland put it to me, "You know that you're lower than the worst partisan hack if you can tick off the unflappably neutral Brian Lamb."

We all expect politicians to carefully parse their statements and to look for wiggle room that allows them to secretly dodge their previous commitments. What makes these examples so striking, however, is that the violation of campaign promises is so immediate, open, and brazen. They don't even try to lie about lying. The message is: I have a right to tell you whatever I think will make you vote for me--and I don't even have to pretend to adhere to any of it after I'm elected.

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