(Mark Noonan) – The Nevada News Bureau reports that when confronted with the fact that he once signed a pledge against domestic partnership for same-sex couples, Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval said he forgot he had done so.
The issue came up because Sandoval recently opined that he was ok with domestic partnership. Some diligent person noted that this didn’t square with his past position, dug out the truth and confronted Sandoval with his own words. A neat trap for a politician and, as usual in these things, sprung by the politician, himself.
Now, to be fair to Mr. Sandoval, he is of that certain age – past 45, like myself – when our warranties expire and all sorts of things start going wrong with us. Some things start hurting. Some things stop working as well as they used to. And, alas!, we forget things, from time to time.
Of course, when I do forget something, it is usually where I left my car keys, not where I left my moral and political principles. Perhaps for Sandoval its just a matter of being fortunate to always know where the keys are, but getting a bit hazy on where right and wrong are located?
Lots of things can be said pro and con about gay marriage and domestic partnerships. How one views the issue will largely depend on the individuals moral worldview.
Being Catholic, I have a general opposition to gay marriage. Joined to this moral-religious opposition is also the very practical opposition based upon the fact that marriage is primarily the vehicle by which we make children and raise them to be citizens. Same sex unions are not terribly efficient in this matter. But someone can disagree with me and not necessarily lose my vote.
But you can lose my vote – and, I suspect, the votes of many other Nevadans – in a heart beat if you are switching your views back and forth and claiming you don’t remember what you did. Its one thing to say, “I’ve changed my mind”, quite another to say, “I’ve lost my mind” – which is, essentially, what Sandoval is telling us: “Vote for me, I can’t remember what I did, but I’ll do whatever might convince you to vote for me”.
This is the sort of tired, pandering politics the people are precisely sick of. It is in Mr. Sandoval’s best interest – and the interest of all those seeking our votes – to carefully consider positions and programs. Don’t try and pull a fast one on us. Tell us what you want. If it’s different from what you wanted in the past, tell us why. Its ok – but don’t try and pass off a cock-and-bull story about forgetting what you did on one of the most burning and contentious issues of the past decade.
(Mark Noonan is an author and blogger. His work can also be seen at Blogs for Victory and Noonan for Nevada)