Editorial

Political leadership pulled a honey of a boo-boo

December 22, 2012
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The death of Robert Bork last week gave rise once again to the impactful and thoughtful words of Ronald Reagan’s rejected U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Yale law professor, acting attorney general and revered scholar. The underscore is that Bork, even in times of extreme controversy, was revered for the thoughtfulness and originality of his ideas and the willingness to discuss them even by those who vehemently disagreed.

Just after his U.S. Senate rejection for the Supreme Court, Bork worried aloud in regard to the “growing” contentiousness, incivility and increasing inability of statesmen to come together with high mindedness to debate and compromise. He expressed his fear during interviews in the late 1980s that anarchy would prevail and destroy this country.

The ideologues of every political stripe who create dissention in almost every state in the union and who continue drama in the nation’s capital are more befitting a Honey Boo Boo reality show role than a position of leadership.

—The national debate over the debt ceiling centers on the necessity of reducing the crushing debt but has been sickeningly strangled by “sides” and “wins.” The arguments and dissention continue to be more important than incurring additional debt, as financial credit ratings fall, increasing debt on the borrowed billions (as was most obvious in August 2011).

—The immobilizing grief of Newtown, Conn., soon gave way to gun-buying runs and more politicizing national gun debate, even as Republicans and Democrats held common lines of agreement. Instead, the Newtown tragedy first and foremost might have guided us to what all agree is a national concern in regard to matters of mental health.

—Even as every parent in America wept, Michigan GOP legislators ardently pursued repeal of Michigan gun laws prohibiting concealed weapons license holders to carry guns into schools, day cares and hospitals. Civilized societies pay for the services of trained police professionals, not gun-toting parents.

—Gov. Rick Snyder ordered a multi-departmental assessment of the state’s services and needs regarding “at risk” children, and that is a welcome development lost in the yelling about guns in schools.

—Gov. Snyder also this month agreed to enter and end the debate over employee freedom to join or not join a union, signing right-to-work legislation. The legislation holds on its merits, but not on the incorrect suggestion that it will strengthen Michigan’s economy. Even The Wall Street Journal, on Dec. 12, debunked such fallacy.

In this week of joyous religious celebrations, the Business Journal prays for the richness of diverse ideas sustained by civilized leadership and a brave New Year.

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