It has been with great distress that I have watched Sen. Lisa Murkowski serve, far too often, as the Statists' useful idiot - on the Law of the Sea Treaty and more recently trying to bargain on cap-and-trade. The latter came to fend off a growing, logical chorus seeking to simply and cleanly kill EPA's current Power Grab. In addition to heading that smarter move off, if successful her idea would instead, at best, only beggar a classic Washington deal...on something that should have a stake driven through its heart, not presented a cask of its native soil in which to rest until it is time to wreak havoc.
Enough dealing. Enough people who convince themselves that compromise - not on details but on matters of core principle - is a sign of leadership.
But the senator then managed to ice her cake, with me, with the recent depths to which she stooped in smearing a man who voiced the outrageous notion that her record represents Washington interests and a niche Republican establishment more than it does the people and interests of Alaska.
Dan Riehl notes the contrast emerging since her outburst at the candidates' most recent debate, and the Murkowski campaign's subsequent line of attack, here. I want to add to this by noting a critical distinction raised at the same event. This came when Joe Miller suggested Murkowski might more rationally support trading her vote on the matter of earmarks in return for liberating ANWR energy production, as an alternative to her troubling efforts to trade cap-and-trade for vague assurances about ANWR's future.
Whatever your stance on earmarks - whether they represent unacceptable political direction of 1% of confiscated taxpayer resources, or they simply deprive bureaucrats some of their power to do the same - cap-and-trade is energy rationing that we will never undo, offered nominally to address climate even though no one says it actually would, because it is really about "fundamentally transforming America". Van Jones even admitted as much, as I've detailed.
Given the tendency among certain Republicans to seek out bags of magic beans for which they can trade treasure, for Miller to suggest our ‘leaders' hold firm when negotiating with people who don't have your constituents' interests at heart - at least some fraction as zealously as you assail anyone who applies for your job - is rough stuff. It would itself be refreshing in Washington.
But, with this election being largely a referendum on Barack Obama this contrast also reminded us, unfavorably, of how Sen. Murkowski in this respect resembles Obama, a man who has no problem describing American citizens opposing his political agenda as "enemies" while coddling our real enemies as rational people who should be dealt with with respect and deference.
The more some politicians get to show you who they really are, the clearer the choice gets. Let's hope the public really are looking for change.
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