One of my chief complaints about Sarah Palin’s campaign for Vice President was her inconsistent stand on the infamous Bridge to Nowhere. As you’ll recall, she repeated over and over that when offered the money she told Congress “thanks but no thanks.”

That’s true, after once supporting the project, she reversed position and said she wouldn’t use the money for the bridge. But did she return the taxpayer money? No, she kept the funds. But it sure made for a great applause line.

Now comes word that South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford will take his state’s portion of the bailout money, despite opposing the bailout itself.

SC gov says he’ll take money despite misgivings
Feb 19, 7:40 AM (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) – South Carolina’s Republican governor says his state will accept money from President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan even though he is ideologically opposed to it.

Gov. Mark Sanford says being against the plan “doesn’t preclude taking the money.”

Sanford said Thursday on CBS'”The Early Show” that he took a stand against the president’s economic plan because it’s “a bad idea.” But he says ultimately he represents the interests of the almost 5 million people of his state, and he will look over the plan and decide which parts would help South Carolina.

Sanford also expressed skepticism about Obama’s plan to reduce home foreclosures. The governor says: “Throw enough money at any problem and you’re going to help some folks.”

Is this a consistent conservative stand? If you’re a Sanford 2012 supporter, wouldn’t you rather he take some heat at home and stand firm against Crapulus 2009? Imagine the press conference where Sanford holds up a giant golf tournament-sized bailout check and sets it aflame with a lighter. Grassroots conservatives, and likely many moderates, would applaud him.

Sanford could have said to Congress, “thanks but no thanks.” But instead he’s saying, “when in Rome.”