When any politician called for the right thing, was it because they really thought it was a good thing? Or was it because their political opposition said e.g. not to worry, so they automatically and necessarily said the opposite?

In other words: suppose you find a politician X who called for good-stuff and they are in the opposition. If counterfactually the party in power had done what you'd want and also called for good-stuff early, would X have stood against it? That obviously affects whether you should take X more seriously on the object level.

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Note that actual reasons aren't available for inspection. The public justification is whatever will appeal to the constituency, the semi-private (among aides and strategists) will be more nuanced, but still spun and workshopped.

There is no X you should take seriously on the object level. X's policies, group-coordination ability, and predicted behaviors should be evaluated independent of X.