Friday, September 12, 2008

Some Consistency Please

How would you like to be playing a game, lets say it’s baseball, and the umpire allows one team to get away with something that he doesn’t allow the other team? It would be kind of unfair don’t you think? Both teams should be playing by the same rules. No matter what those rules are, they should be consistent. If a visiting team member just ties the ball to first base the tie should go to the runner. And likewise for the home team, the tie goes to the runner. It wouldn’t be a level playing field if the tie went to the runner for one team and to the ball for the other. Even if some umpires take a stricter interpretation of some rules there usually isn’t much of a problem unless he seems bias toward one team or the other. I’ve heard post game interviews with pitchers who had an umpire with a very small strike zone. Typically they could work within the tighter strike zone as long as he kept the same tighter strike zone for the other pitcher too. Consistency. Both teams are accepting of the limitations as long as they are consistent for both teams.

Reporters, pundits and politicians on both sides of the aisle have a lot to learn about consistency. I’ve been amused by some of the claims and accusations that have been tossed around during this election. It seems that each side will claim that what they are doing now is fair and what the opposite side is doing is unfair, even if that directly contradicts the actions and claims that were made are few months ago. Personally I’d just like to see some consistency so I know what the rules are.

A few examples:

If you’re going to count every day of their life since one candidate started getting a government paycheck as time spent serving the country then you should do the same for the opponent and not just add together the number of days he signed in for role call. If total days since x is the rule, fine. If total number of days signed in is the rule, fine. But be consistent for both sides.

On that note If experience in office is used as an asset for one candidate it shouldn’t be used to criticize another for being too entrenched in Washington as usual politics. Just be consistent.

On the flip side of that if being an outsider who hasn’t had much Washington experience is a benefit then allow the same claim from both sides. Just be consistent.

If a certain phase is determined to be sexist or bigoted then it is sexist and bigoted for all candidates. Don’t use the phrase yourself and then criticize others for using it.

If a candidate is going to tout a certain aspect of their life like their religion or their family life or whatever as an asset, then they have by their own actions made that part of their life "in bounds" and it should stay "in bounds" for both sides to either praise or criticize. It's like after you hit a ball that looks like it might have homer distance you try to declare it a foul if it looks like it might not make the wall. Just be consistent.

As a short disclaimer: I have yet to make up my mind about who to vote for in November. If you think this post is biased toward any candidate, you are wrong. I'm pretty annoyed with all of them.


  1. Your observations seem quite correct. I wish all the candidates would just get down to facts. Tell me your stand on important issues and forget the personal attacks.
    Being an American citizen requires a lot of effort; For which I am grateful...

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  3. I wonder why anyone even wants to run for office. The media does their best to destroy families and friends. Good Grief! No one is spared being humiliated. We need more good people to run but most people just want to "run" the other way and who can blame them when you see how families suffer.

  4. I have not decided either, and I often watch the campaign ads for attacks on their opponents. If they use the ad to show political differences, or push their party's platform, I listen and give them a point for all the political points we agree on. If they engage in "mud-slinging' or character assination attempts, I start to discount the points they may have gained eariler in the ad, or previous ads.

    currently it is a stalemate. 0 to 0.