The Campaign Spot

The Democrats Insist Palin’s Early Support Means She Never Opposed the Bridge to Nowhere. Uh, No.

Here is a good summary of the details of the Bridge to Nowhere fight.

Fact 1: At some level Governor Palin showed support for the bridge project while she was running in the race for Governor of Alaska.

Fact 2: Congress made the money for the Gravina Island Bridge available to Alaska, although it didn’t have to be used for that bridge.

Fact 3: The State of Alaska already had the federal funds in hand when Gov. Palin took office.

Fact 4: Governor Palin put a stop to the bridge project and appropriated the funds for more reasonable uses.

The fascinating thing we’re seeing from the likes of Paul Begala is the charge that if you ever supported an idea, it’s then a lie if you claim to oppose an idea. This comes from fundamentally misreading why John Kerry’s “I voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it” comment hurt him so much in 2004. It wasn’t merely that Kerry changed the way he felt about the war. A lot of Americans did that too, and they accept that leaders change their minds. But mere months after the invasion, Kerry was voting against funding for a war he had voted to authorize. He supported the invasion when it was popular, but did a 180 the moment it became unpopular. That’s not leadership, or sticking with a massive undertaking in the face of adversity. That’s following the polls. (To say nothing of what Iraq would have looked like if U.S. troops had started withdrawing in fall 2003, which is what would have happened if Congress had agreed with Kerry’s refusal to fund them.) . By the standard Democrats are applying to Palin, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and John Edwards still support the Iraq War.  .

I can’t begrudge Alaskans wanting to build that bridge. If I lived in that area, I’d probably want that bridge built, too. But it’s appropriate for the locals or the state to build it, not all U.S. taxpayers. Once in office, Palin looked at the cost to the state and concluded it wasn’t worth it – both in terms of dollars and political liability — and the project ceased.  . She killed off the Bridge to Nowhere. Deal with it.