Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Daschle, Geithner & Holder. The same or different?

Like many, I have a difficult time being silent when it comes to politics. In a philosophical sense, I tend to be more conservative than liberal. In a human sense, it frequently is not difficult to like even those you oppose philosophically.

For that reason, I was disappointed when former U.S. Senator Tom Daschle withdrew his name as Barack Obama's nominee to be the next Secretary of Health & Human Services. I know Daschle and I like him. He obviously made some serious mistakes regarding his tax responsibilities. He should lose points in his standing on the integrity scale. But, the way I see it, that does not mean I should like him less. We all do dumb things and dishonest things. It is a matter of degrees.

There are flaws in my argument, I would admit, but we each are who and what we are, not characters in a novel designed to fit an author's narrow scheme of things. Two other Obama nominees, Timothy Geithner for Secretary of the Treasury and Nancy Killefer, for White House Performance Officer, also had tax issues. Geithner was confirmed by the Senate; Killefer, like Daschle, withdrew her name from consideration. Then, there is Eric Holder. When he worked in Bill Clinton's Justice Department, Holder, the new Attorney General, advocated pardons for convicted terrorists and for the No. 2 fugitive on the FBI's most wanted list, who had fled the U.S.

Neither Geithner nor Holder withdrew their names from consideration. The subsequent confirmation of their nominations by the Senate really does bother me. Geithner is a tax dodger whose duties now include leading the Internal Revenue Service. Holder, a man who promoted pardoning convicted terrorists, is now the head law enforcement officer in the country. This, to me, is not right. Daschle's confirmation to run Health & Human Services would not have bothered me to any great extent. Is this simply because I (probably most people) tend to excuse individuals I know personally, even politicians who are supposed to be "public servants," for their lapses in judgment and honesty? If so, I suppose this makes me guilty of poor judgment, too.

Music Note: Currently listening to Fleetwood Mac ....
Specifically, "The Dance" ....
"Go Your Own Way" is a fantastic song ....

4 comments:

Tammie Lee said...

I like the way you share your thoughts in this piece. Nicely presented with thought, facts and a feeling heart. I do not keep up with politics much, so you have enlightened me a bit as well.

By the way you are one good looking dog... ;-)

Piper .. said...

Is this simply because I (probably most people) tend to excuse individuals I know personally, even politicians who are supposed to be "public servants," for their lapses in judgment and honesty? If so, I suppose this makes me guilty of poor judgment, too.

I am not anyone to judge you or the judgements you make. But I do think that we are at that stage where zero tolerance towards such defaulters should be exercised,irrespective of personal affiliations. We cannot afford this, at this critical stage of our economy.

Fram said...

Wolf, wolf .... that's wolf, Tammie Lee.

Thank you, for the kind words.

I've been an on again/off again photographer since I was five-years-old, and I don't think I've ever taken a single photo that approaches the quality of your work. I will keep visiting your site.

Fram said...

I would not dispute your opinion on this matter, Piper, but for this particular individual, it does go a bit deeper for me. Tom Daschle was the first person to contact me and to offer his help on one occasion when I encountered a "rough road." I cannot and will not forget that.

If I were a senator having to vote on his confirmation, I do not know, with certainty, how I would vote. Had I been a senator voting on Geithner's or Holder's confirmation, I would have voted "no." Maybe others would be stronger than I could be under the circumstances.

Something special ....