Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Political belief lightly gripped

It’s not hypocrisy if you need the money

I read a Hot Dish politics post yesterday noting that Tom Emmer hired on as a lobbyist to, um, lobby for a measure that he adamantly opposed when it came up in the Legislature two years ago. MNO mentioned it earlier today, too.

The issue is the expansion of free-standing, i.e., separate from hospitals, cancer centers. Emmer was for it before he was agin’ it.

Emmer then:

In a spirited debate, the Republican from Delano called the ban “patently unfair” and “micromanaging in its worst form.” He pleaded with lawmakers to let “market forces return.”

Here’s Emmer’s new money shot:

“I am in favor of the free market, absolutely,” Emmer said Monday. “But on this issue, you need to be more considerate.”

Really, that’s what he said.

Emmer continued:

He said if the state were to rip open the marketplace now, “it could be very dangerous … I don’t want to destroy what we have.”

Emmer now believes that market forces can sometimes be destructive, and the destruction isn’t always creative, as some conservatives like to call it. If this is an epiphany for Tom Emmer, I applaud it. But somehow, I doubt it.

This put me in mind of one of the other jersey changers since the election: Pat Anderson, who ran a dismal campaign for State Auditor, despite being backed by the rhetorical firepower of Craig Westover. Here’s Anderson, within weeks of the election, again from Hot Dish Politics:

"During the campaign I was asked by a group of lobbyists what I thought of lobbyists.  I replied somewhat factiously "The problem with lobbyists is they exist."  I still believe that. [if you still believe it, Pat, you didn’t say it facetiously]  But the problem isn't with lobbyists themselves; the problem is that our current "big-government" system creates the need for them," she wrote.

But what is really impressive here is the word salad that Emmer and Anderson each create to claim that their new gig isn’t inconsistent with previously held, and fervently avowed, public positions.

Where is T.S. Eliot now that we need him? Extra credit for the first person who explains why and provides a link.

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