There are two controversies swirling around our political world. Both further highlight our national issue of our elected officials – the refusal to be reasonable.
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey is under siege for a personal transgression. He is being castigated by many donors to Republican causes and by some Republican politicians for the unthinkable. He accepted – and praised – federal government support for New Jersey in dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. How horrible of him!
Last time I checked, the purpose of a Governor is to promote, protect and provide for his/her state. A Governor is the top officer of the state they represent. When unprecedented disaster hits, the Governor is morally obligated to do whatever they can to help their state. No single state has the resources to deal with a major catastrophe. That is why they turn to other states and – yes – the “evil” Federal Government. If any of us had a personal issue come up, we would gladly accept assistance from anyone – friends or strangers. Chris Christie did that for the citizens of his state who elected him.
But his big mistake was actually praising the U.S. Government for helping his state try to recover. I guess showing gratitude is a bad thing if it makes someone else look good. And he also – horrors – went on a helicopter ride with the President to make sure the President personally saw the devastation. Associating with “the enemy”. Do you think the people hounding Mr. Christie give their words any thought before taking action? I doubt it.
The second issue revolves around politicians rethinking their position in response to our current national conditions. Don’t we elect them to use their judgement to try to do what is best for the country? To some people, evidently not. A number of politicians are in trouble for considering changing their mind on a “pledge” to not raise taxes. Breaking that pledge is a sign of weakness? impurity of thought? socialism? What? Our country is about to go off a fiscal cliff because of Congressional inaction. In fact if no action is taken, taxes will be raised because Bush-era tax cuts will run out. So inaction guarantees higher taxes for most people.
I have not read or heard anyone who thinks the brinksmanship we are headed for is a good thing (granted, I do not follow every person with an opinion on the matter). But it seems to me that looking at all potential solutions to our problem makes sense. And if that means someone needs to revisit a previous pledge, so be it. Isn’t that careful thought the logical thing to do?