Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Talking Out Both Sides of Your Mouth

Few politicians try to have it both ways as much as Tom Harkin. Anyone who lives in Iowa can tell that Mr. Harkin is not a real Iowan. He doesn't act like one, and he certainly doesn't spend enough time in Iowa to be considered one. But, however he is one hell of a glad-hand politician that tries to straddle the fence as much as possible without committing to anything major. Then, if by chance, we get him to commit on an issue which ends up turning against him in the future we get to watch as he passes his failed responsibility to someone else.

Tom Harkin lied during his run for re-election verses Greg Ganske in 2002. The possible war in Iraq was popular then, so of course Mr. Harkin was on board. He voted for the resolution to use force against Iraq (check his voting record). Greg Ganske, who was his opponent at the time was also for the war.

Mr. Harkin would have you believe he was trying to send a message to Saddam by voting for the resolution to use force so we could open up a diplomatic solution with Iraq. Sure, Tom, right. Of course, this about face on an issue is fairly common with Mr. Harkin, but only happened after the war in Iraq's popularity started going down in the polls.

He then turned his failure (the fact that he voted for the war, but now regrets it) to President Bush. Rather than own up to his own failed judgment, he said Bush had "lied" to the country (Des Moines Register article March 7, 2003). The problem with Mr. Harkin not accepting the responsibility for his voting record is that he serves on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Defense. As such, he was able to look at the same intelligence that President Bush used to base his decision on to go to war.

The only thing that changed about Tom Harkin's stance on Iraq was not whether he felt it was right war to be fighting, but instead the popularity of the war in the opinion polls. He used the war to get elected (by voting for it), then two short years later tried helping other Democrats get elected by opposing the war.

"I am not going to be fooled twice," Harkin said about his voting record on Iraq. Good, I hope that means he will start thinking for himself for awhile, and use the resources available from his Senate subcommittee appointments to form an opinion of his own.

However, lucky for Harkin, the citizens of Iowa have been fooled more than once by him yet we continue to send him to Washington D.C...

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice and get elected to the Senate over and over and over again."

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