Thursday, February 23, 2012

trying to be magnanimous

I will say this for Rick Santorum: the dude is totally honest about what he really believes. I actually love this quote in reference to him voting for No Child Left Behind:
I have to admit, I voted for that. It was against the principles I believed in, but, you know, when you're part of the team, sometimes you take one for the team, for the leader, and I made a mistake. You know, politics is a team sport, folks. And sometimes you've got to rally together and do something.

I love this quote because this is precisely how politics really works. Congressmen and senators regularly have to swallow their beliefs and vote with their team. This is especially true when your party is in the White House. The president sets the entire party's agenda, and if you don't play along, your ability to influence the party's direction and get what you want passed is greatly diminished.

A politician is occasionally going to have to cast a vote they disagree with. Sometimes they have to compromise with the other side, as was the case with NCLB. Sometimes your district really needs money for X, and the Majority Leader decides he's going to attach it to a bill you don't like to get your vote. Sometimes somebody who did you a solid calls in a favor. And then there's the whole matter of one's views gradually changing and the gift of hindsight and all that.

It's ridiculous to expect a politician to have been "right" 100% of the time, and it's good to see someone up there be honest about how it works. Unfortunately, that guy also has the social views of a medieval pope, but again, he's been shockingly candid about those views, including the ones that don't enjoy much favor outside the halls of the Vatican.

Good on you, Senator Santorum, but um, I still hope you never get elected to anything. Let's hang out never.

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