One of my recent blogs dealt with the need for the national media to pay more attention to the actual records of Governors seeking the Presidency and less on what the candidates advance as their version.
This nation has a staggering deficit, an equally alarming rate of deficit growth, and a political system more concerned with posturing than with making courageous long-term choices. The office of the Presidency has the capacity and, I would argue, the responsibility to lead with courage and with a commitment to the nation’s best interests regardless of the immediate political consequences. To date, timidity is more apparent than courage and the 2012 elections more important than our long-term future. So much of today reminds me of St. Augustine’s prayer of Lord make me pure but oh not yet.
The Presidency and the nomination for the Presidency must not simply go to the one who wants it the most or is willing to excel at pandering. No, today more than ever, it must go to that individual who has the proven ability to govern and to lead, make the challenging choices, and place the well-being of the future over any temporary success.
Surprisingly, Molly Ball of Politico takes exception to this scrutiny of candidates. It seems she has made the examination and concluded that they all merit a passing grade and anyone who disagrees is a “backstabber”. How novel? And here I thought journalism was all about free inquiry and truth.
Molly Ball’s defense covers the gambit of candidates from Huckabee to Palin. Unfortunately, she fails to discuss what the electorate can discuss about the candidates since their past record is off the table. I also have to wonder about whether President Obama’s record can be examined or will all those Presidential “wanabe’s” who are critical of the President be labeled “backstabbers”.
Further, she takes exception to criticism from the Governor’s home states. In essence, those who know the candidate the best and who have lived under the policies of the candidate shall receive the least consideration.
I am fearful that Molly Ball is more desirous of keeping the controversy of politics alive while dismissing substance. Name-calling among numerous candidates builds for easy sensational coverage. Substance involves work and is less exciting. Therefore, why not support the superficial culture of the loud and offensive?
Democracy is not only about dissent but also about holding accountable those in positions of power. No one is considered to be above the law or above examination and review. Our history is rich with examples of those who had the courage to stand tall in the minority and to hold firm in their belief that truth must prevail. This was the role of our founding fathers all the way through Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King. All of us in our own way are a small part of that legacy and have a responsibility to be forthright and truthful.
No, anyone who holds himself up for public office must be scrutinized but always fairly and thoroughly and outside the realm of personal vindictiveness.
It is no secret that I have serious qualms about the candidacy of Governor Pawlenty and do not believe his claims of prudent financial management come anywhere close to the truth. Hence, the scrutiny will continue……….