I applaud President Barack Obama’s courage and leadership for bringing Guantanamo prisoners to his home state of Illinois, although I fundamentally disagree. We finally have a national leader who leads by example. Both parties, particularly Democrats, need to follow this example and perhaps Congress’ approval rating will finally reach double digits.
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., wants “green” energy — but killed the Yucca Mountain waste disposal facility in his home state.
Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., wants defense cuts for social programs — but ferociously fought to keep his submarine facility, while voting to increase aircraft engine production.
Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., wants environmental and health care reform — but for decades refused to force Detroit’s auto industry to increase efficiency standards.
The late Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., wanted “green” energy — but opposed the Cape Wind project, while his successor, Sen. Paul Kirk, D-Mass., continues to stall the initiative.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., wants defense cuts to pay for social programs — but refused to close two military bases in her home state, declaring them “military necessity.”
Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., proposed a 25 percent defense spending cut — but was unwilling to start the process in his home state.
“We need this — just not in my state” elicits sarcasm and does not resonate with an apathetic public.
Even the opposition has to respect the president’s decisiveness. When your home state serves as the catalyst for your ideas, you are demonstrating you truly believe in your principles — and not simply appeasing the electorate.
Think of the images of Gen. David Petraeus and Gen. Stanley McChrystal demanding dramatic changes in fighting the counterinsurgency, and then strolling a downtown bazaar wearing no protective equipment.
In other words, you practice what you preach. Amen.
Sgt. Maj. James CoroyForward Operating Base Sharana, Afghanistan