Mary Fallin disparages following the Constitution as "the easy way out!"

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Although Republican gubernatorial candidate Mary Fallin refuses to do a televised debate with her opponents, there are video and audio clips of joint appearances and candidate forums at which she, Randy Brogdon, and the other two GOP candidates discussed issues. Here's a clip from a Comanche County Republican meeting. The question from the audience was, "Will you be tough enough to deal with what we've got to deal with in Washington?"

In this context, Brogdon brought up Fallin's vote for the bailout (Troubled Assets Relief Program), and Fallin defended her vote in favor: "Until you've been there and you've been in the situation and you understand the details and the facts...." She went on to describe the dire warnings of financial system collapse from Fed chairman Ben Bernanke and Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulsen that persuaded her to vote for TARP. But then Fallin expressed shock and dismay at the outcome:

Now, did they do what they said they were going to do with the money that was used for TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Fund? No! And we were all disgusted about that.

But Fallin gave no indication in her response that in the future she'll be more skeptical when business leaders come to her, hat in hand, asking her to use our tax dollars to pay for their poor judgment.

We did the best we could with the information that we had at the time, but we can't help what they did and didn't keep their words after the face.

In his rebuttal, Brogdon brought the issue back to the original question: "Are you going to be tough?" He noted that spoke in opposition to the bailout vote at the time, and he would not have voted for it because it was unconstitutional. Fallin can be heard butting in to say, "That's the easy way out." The audience expressed its disapproval.

It takes toughness to stand firm on the principles of constitutionally limited government and free markets when lobbyists and campaign contributors are either telling you that the sky is falling and the only cure is to give them tax dollars. Fallin may be tough enough, as she claims to be, to resist left-wing lobbyists, but it appears she is not tough enough to resist self-serving panic-mongering from corporate interests who want welfare to cushion them from the consequences of their bad decisions.

I can forgive a vote for TARP, but it would be easier to forgive with an acknowledgment that it was a bad decision, with a promise to exercise greater skepticism, and with a renewed commitment to let the Constitution control her decisions.

MORE: In Part 1, Fallin gave a roundabout (and somewhat patronizing) answer to a question about potential conflicts of interest involving her lobbyist daughter. In response to a question about keeping jobs from leaving Oklahoma for Texas, Brogdon says, "It's time for politicians to stop faking you out that politicians can create jobs." Brogdon called for challenging the status quo and an end to the use of targeted tax credits to stimulate economic development, which he called "corporate welfare... legal plunder... immoral." Subsidies, he said, are bankrupting our nation and our state. Instead, reform should work generally to reduce the costs government imposes on job creation.

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Here we are, the reddest state in the nation: Republican governor, overwhelmingly Republican legislature. (36-12 in the Senate, 72-29 in the House.) But instead of tightening the state's belt, as their constituents have had to do, instead of cutting ta... Read More


route66news said:

Tom Coburn is a skeptical guy about government intervention, too, but even he voted for TARP because he, by his own words, didn't want to see the financial system collapse and 30 percent unemployment follow its wake.

At last report, TARP is being paid back much more quickly than expected and is going to cost much less than expected. Given the alternative of doing nothing, wouldn't you think TARP was a more than fair trade?

Roy said:

In case anyone wondered if were a difference between the two candidates....

ps: hooray for the audience

Roy said:

just as I submitted the above comment, these words sprang into mind:
"Appeal to the Constitution? What a novel idea. Sort of using an Alexandrian Sword against a Gordonian Knot. How quaint."

crab said:

I was raised to follow the law and the law states that anyone that see’s a crime taking place is required to contact there local police or you can be charged with conspiracy to commit a crime. I was also told this applies to all states. Therefore it is the responsibility of EVERY American to report Obummer to there local police or face criminal charges THAT IS THE LAW. Now I know this might bring charges agents you for false reporting if they don’t believe you however if everyone that believes Obummer is breaking the law through Constitution Art. II Sec. 4, "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors" was to do this the courts would be overwhelmed with ether people facing charges for filing a false police report or investigate the charges agents Obummer. This is up to you but remember THIS IS THE LAW.

Roy said:

Rt 66: Coburn has recognized his mistake and repented. 1) He realizes via hindsight that he should have rejected TARP as, well, unconstitutional. 2) He realizes that even if one, for the sake of pragmatic expediency, did choose to scorn constitutional principle: a) the predicted disaster wouldn't have happened, but something different, a self-correcting result would have transpired; b) contra your point about cost and repayment, TARP has gianormous hidden costs and unintended consequences. (One might have predicted this in that TARP attempts evasion of at least one foundational principle of reality, namely the First Law of Thermodynamics, which in econ language reads "They Ain't No Such Thing AS A Free Lunch".

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 20, 2010 12:31 PM.

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