Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Another Flip-Flopper

I came across this NY Times article on Ned Lamont while scanning some of eduwonk's posts. Both eduwonk and I find this very troubling about Lamont:

Mr. Lamont said that his frequent meetings with voters had altered his views on some issues. Initially, he said, he considered some job losses caused by free-trade agreements to be a necessary "transition cost" for succeeding in a world economy. But after meeting manufacturing workers who had been laid off, he said he realized that "we're going to have to be respectful of our workers when it comes to negotiating a trade agreement."

He said he had regarded President Bush's No Child Left Behind education policy as having some positive elements, such as "having a benchmark and seeing how schools perform." But after talking with teachers, parents and students, he said that he has decided that "fundamentally, the bill is irrelevant."
Although it isn't always fair to attack politicians for changing their position, it can be a sign of political weakness. Maybe Lamont realized that, although his previous positions were intelligent and thoughtful, he would have to cave in to irrational interest groups if he was going to out-flank Lieberman on the left. Either that, or Lamont hadn't really given NCLB serious consideration until he decided to run for office. If that is the case, I wonder what a public school teacher was thinking about if not education policy.

Either way, it seems that the hard-core liberals that support him only care that he is against the Iraq War (also an illogical position), and don't mind that he changes his positions at the request of interest groups.