We've heard all about the "agents of change" in this presidential campaign. We were surprised by John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate. The press and general public alike have been glommering to learn what this woman is about and how she could contribute to running our nation.
The truth is, the words of a campaign only mean so much. The substance of a person is what he/she does, what they stand for, and what they stand up for. That's common sense, and no one can tell me that the average American doesn't have a healthy dose of common sense.
Behind the fashionable glasses, the ready smile, and the glib rhetoric, Sarah Palin--and John McCain by association and agreement with her decision--stand for a sad page from the Bush/Cheney administration playbook. Instead of Palin living up to her original stance (pre-vice presidential candidate era) where she invited the legislative body of her state to investigate the firing the Alaska's former public safety commissioner, she now "declines to participate" in the investigation.
The brouhaha about the former public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, are allegations that he was fired because he did not fire Palin's former brother-in-law, Mike Wooten, a state trooper in Alaska as Palin and her aides had leaned on Monegan to do. Monegan was fired in July. In that same month, a bipartisan panel voted unanimously to commission an investigation into the firing.
Palin asserted that Monegan was let go from his job as public safety commissioner because of differences between he and her office on budgetary matters. She welcomed the investigation and denied she, or anyone of her behalf, had pressured Monegan into firing Palin's sister's ex-husband. In August, with memory somehow refreshed, two weeks before becoming the vice presidential nominee for the Republican party, Palin admitted that members of her staff had contacted Monegan two dozen times about Wooten.
Now, when Palin has the opportunity to show not only the state of Alaska, but the entire nation that she has nothing to hide, she instead refuses to participate in an investigation. Not only that, but her staff members who have been subpoened by the committee investigating what is being referred to as "Troopergate" have said they will decline the subpoenas. This was announced by of all people, Talis Colberg, Alaska's Attorney General.
Did he say it with indignance or impatience? No. The attorney general, the highest ranking law official in the state, said it only as a matter of fact. This despite only a week ago, when his statement was that the state employees would speak at the investigation.
Since when do people have an option as to whether they will testify when subpoened? Here is where the Bush/Cheney playbook enters the picture. Vice President Cheney refused to turn over documents that were requested by a legislative committee. Later, administrative staff of the executive branch, when subpoened by a legislative committee "declined to do so." No repercussions for anyone for those decisions/actions.
If McCain/Palin were the "agents of change" they purport to be, they would be forthright about the Alaskan investigation, Palin would be cooperating, and her staff instructed to obey the subpoenas.
The Republican camp can try to spin this as the other side merely politicizing, but common sense tells us all that McCain/Palin need no help on that score.