Sunday, May 6, 2007

The Pandering of Presidential Politics

You gotta love political reporters, who never tire of exposing the hypocrisy of politicians, particularly those in a campaign and especially those in a presidential one. Yet if I've learned anything other than the depths to which politicians will pander, it's that nobody's pure—everybody does it.

Shame on me for thinking Rudy was different. The NYT's Clyde Haberman sets me straight:

Where he once spoke firmly about tending even to illegal immigrants, he now puts more stress on penalizing them. Where he once talked about their contributions, he now urges tougher border controls. Where he once forbade his police force to ask a person’s immigration status, he now wants illegal immigrants to be issued identity cards. . . .

As mayor, he was fully for abortion rights. As a presidential candidate, he says he would appoint “strict constructionists” to the Supreme Court—code, to many, for undermining Roe v. Wade.

As mayor, he supported federal gun-control legislation. As a candidate, he emphasizes that states should figure out their own gun laws. (He is also a states-rights advocate these days on flying the Confederate flag.) As mayor, he said a federal flat tax “would really be a disaster.” As a candidate, he says it “would make a lot of sense.”