Me with my lovely wife, Kathy:

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's Complicated . . .

but politics often is.

Since it involves Sarah Palin, and she's been good enough to call my house several times in the last week, I thought I'd share something with her here. She didn't leave a number for me to call her back. I'm sure it just slipped her mind.


I may not have all the details, but here is what I understand. Joe Miller, a friend of yours, won the Republican primary.

Incumbent Republican, Lisa Murkowski was not willing to rally behind Miller. Instead, with the blessing of much of the GOP establishment Ms. Murkowski is mounting a write-in campaign.

One can make a case that Murkowski had somewhat of a contract to respect the will of the primary voters. She lost. What she did seemed like bad style to me. I think her explanation, she wants the "people to have a choice," is pretty lame. Seems they had a choice and it wasn't her. I'll let others decide whether what she did was ethical. Is there such a thing as political-ethics? If so, my guess is a lot of politicians skipped that class.

I live a long way from Alaska, so I don't know much about what happened next. I understand that Murkowski's campaign was able to get some consessions from a judge, making it easier for a voter to write in. Included in these consessions was a ruling that poll workers would have a list with the names of write-in candidates who asked to be put on the list. Write-ins have to be spelled correctly. Murkowski is not the most common name.

Now, a radio talk show host--who looks a lot like a young Rush Limbaugh--gets involved. As I understand it, Dan Fagan, began promoting the idea that every Tom, Dick, and Mary, especially if their last name ended in "ski," should call the judge and get their name on this list. The idea being, this would make it harder for voters to find and copy Murkowski's name. Understandably, the Murkowski campaign was not happy with the radio voice. They made threats and Mr. Fagan found himself suspended.

There were some other media misactions, directed at Miller, that took place about the same time. While not directly related, they no doubt helped fuel to the ire.

OK, I'm not commenting on Politics, Governor Palin, I just want to talk about what is right.

I agree that as long as Fagan is not violating a law he has the freedom to spout his stuff. I have weighed-in, in the past, on protecting the freedoms of folk with whom we don't agree. (See my post from 8/24) I don't know, so I won't argue with you when you say that Miller is being treated badly.

What bothers me is I don't hear you saying that political decisions should not be decided by tricks and obfuscation--tricking people into spelling a name wrong. We should help people get the truth, persuade them to act on that truth, and pray. Winning by tricks may produce a short-term victory. It is a sure route to long-term disaster.

We can't tolerate underhanded behavior on the part of those who support our causes. If we don't condemn this stuff, at the least we appear to support it.

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