Forgetting the sins of their past

Past sins irrelevant

The cartoon on the Roundtable page of Oct. 9 was pathetic. It is bad enough to see political advertisements where the candidates accuse each other of doing the same misdeeds. This is worse.

It is true that Christine O’Donnell admitted to practicing witchcraft in college. However, she had also put this behind her years ago. Let’s follow her example. If we were to judge everyone on past sins, nobody would survive an election.

Look to the present. Do yourself a favor and don’t buy into the mudslinging. There are several websites that enable you to look up one’s track record. A candidate should be evaluated on their accomplishments, not their human frailties.

Douglas R. Benn

I can think of no better a start to the latest David Broder column republished in the Spokesman-Review (18 October 2010) than Mr. Benn’s letter.  In his column “Daniels is a man to watch,” David S. Broder sings the praises of Mitch Daniels who was a member of Reagan’s Cabinet and also went on to be a budget director for GW himself.  That is, after Broder spent a good share of his column bashing both Senate Majority leader Harry Reid as well as “TEA Party” favorite Sharron Angle for their inept performance during their televised debate (which undoubtedly they did deserve it, especially Reid).  However, Broder forsakes his press as watchdog role when he praises the “intelligence” and policy wonkishness of some hundreds of Republicans who came to a dinner where the guest of honor was a former Governor by the name of Mitch Daniels.  Just in case some people have forgotten, along with Broder, that just because you are ideologically out there and apply “policy” according to its ideological litmus test, even to discussing it with some modicum of intelligence, doesn’t mean that you are much improved over the Sharron Angles and Harry Reids of this world.  There are other ways of defining ineptness; and not just in what you would have  said during a political debate.

A lot of people would claim that the pro-business and other special interest factions that battened onto the “Reagan Revolution” would have been effectively “conservative” in nature.  Especially in the business world was the assumption that if the various business interests were truly left to themselves; no over-arching federal rules; they would have enough morality to run their businesses, profit, and a rising tide would lift all boats.  “Supply-side economics” was essentially liberal.  The assumption on the part of the Republicans that human kind in the business world would heed the call of the better angels of their nature and lead the nation in economic prosperity…  If my readers would like to re-read the preceding post, take note of how well that worked out.  It was an exercise in ideological naivety, to say the least.  Even the Old Testament (Tanakh) God, Yahweh, understood the need for rules.  That is why he handed them to Moses.  What was also contradictory, was that the same liberals in Republican party tried to buttress their “conservative credentials” by being “tough on crime.”  Meanwhile turning a blind eye to white-collar crime that had far graver and more far reaching consequences economically for the nation.

What if we did not have a speed limit of say 20 mph for a school zone.  Simply because there were people ideologically opposed to a “nanny state or socialist government?”  Would such people voluntarily slow down when kids tried to leave the school zone and go home?  Don’t bet on it.  That’s why those speed zones are there.  People are only going to slow down in a speed zone because a sign tells them to, or stop at a stop sign only because it is there, or not commit an act of theft or robbery because they know they will be punished.  Precisely the people who are moral enough to obey the laws in the first place.  But that those laws have to be there and enforceable in order for those laws to be obeyed.  After all, without that stop sign at the street corner, the likelihood of a multiple car collision is dramatically increased.  In the business world, the ideological liberals of the Republican party removed the stop signs and ultimately caused a multiple economic wreck.  For that they are called “conservative?”  Or that as Broder was to claim, these people can put together policy, philosophy or ideology more intelligently than say the Reid/Angle debate could offer?  I beg to differ.

Broder ultimately saw Mr. Daniels as a potential Republican candidate for the Oval Office by 2012.  Well yes, if you want to forget that he only happened to be a fellow traveler in all things that went wrong between the Reagan era and the GW era.  For those of us who have some very long memories of the last 30 years; Daniels has a serious problem in that owing to the company that he keeps.

As for Mr. Benn’s letter, (LOL!) I think the only reason why he was so liberal about candidate O’Donnell is owing to the fact that Ms. O’Donnell is a “TEA Party” favorite with an R behind her name.  When it came to presidential candidate Barack H. Obama however, we saw how quickly everyone was prepared to trot out the sins of his past on the presumption that Obama would not survive them and actually achieve the status of POTUS.  Surprise, surprise; yes, he did.  And the wailing and gnashing of teeth coming from the GOP themselves continues to this day two years after the election and it is that rage that fuels their active retaliation against the man who won regardless of his sins.

In short, Mr. Benn engages in political hypocrisy.  Even if his over all point is well taken.

I’ll even agree with him in this much, that we should look at any candidate’s record of accomplishments and set behind us their past frailties (unless the “record of accomplishment” in the case of Idaho State Rep. Phil Hart is to constantly break the law, especially tax law).  It is what they do in office that has to matter to the voters more than what should be regarded as ancient history.  Too bad that such a liberal forgiveness couldn’t be equally applied to a Dem president.


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