Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – April 12, 2013

During this week we watched in wonder as the United States Senate voted in favor of debating a much diluted gun control bill. This is what passes for courageous action in 2013. Meanwhile what do Anthony Weiner and Mark Sanford have in common? They have a shared belief in redemption. But do voters agree? And finally, it appears that as a political leader Dr. Ben Carson is a great neurosurgeon.

Fake Gun Fight

Since the Newtown Massacre there has been considerable energy and emotion spent on a campaign for reasonable and useful gun control measures. Since the Newtown Massacre over 2000 Americans have died from gun violence. The irony is apparent.

The United States Congress has given us a kabuki theater presentation that pretends to convey a serious effort to pass gun control legislation. The only thing is that the proposed legislation is now so diluted that any progress on this issue will be largely symbolic.

It was announced on Thursday that the Senate has voted to allow a debate on gun control legislation that features background checks for selected gun purchasers and…..well, that’s pretty much it. And to think that some senators have been proclaiming their courage in agreeing to debate a bill that should have been passed two decades ago.

Not exactly the next chapter of “Profiles in Courage”.

The Age of Redemption

A couple of years ago then South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford disappeared on the Appalachian Trail only to surface in Argentina in the arms of his mistress. Very soon thereafter he was resigned as governor.

A couple of years ago then Congressman Anthony Weiner claimed that texted photos of him in his underwear were the work of photo shopping hackers. Soon thereafter he admitted to being the being the adventurous phototexter and resigned as governor.

Seventeen years ago the President Bill Clinton famously proclaimed that he “did not have sex” with Monica Lewinsky. Soon thereafter he admitted that he did have sex with Monica Lewinsky and was impeached for lying during a deposition in the subject.

These three men all clearly believe in the powers of redemption. President Clinton has famously revived his seemingly shattered career by surviving impeachment, establishing the Clinton Foundation and reestablishing himself as one of the most influential political leaders of this era.

Mark Sanford, after doing his penance in obscurity, decided that the people of South Carolina needed him to represent them in Congress once again. And the Teapublican voters in a primary agreed with him and now he is a candidate for Congress.

Anthony Weiner should take heart. Coming out of the shadows of self-imposed seclusion he has broadly hinted that he may run for Mayor New York City. And before anyone discounts his chances, it might be useful to remember that in American politics there is always a second act.

Carson Quickie

Dr. Ben Carson is not simply an accomplished black neurosurgeon. He is one of the most accomplished neurosurgeons of any background in the world. His personal narrative is awesome in its inspiration having come from a humble background to attain incredible personal and professional excellence.

It came as some surprise, however, when Dr. Carson was recruited on to the Teapublican “We Need Black People” Tour and began to speak about his political philosophy. Up until now we had only heard Dr. Carson speak in uplifting terms, his soaring oratory inspiring thousands, if not millions.

However, the Other Dr. Carson appeared on the Tour and spoke about his staunch conservative philosophies. And he was alright until he compared same sex marriage with bestiality. And then it was time to bring down the curtain on the brief political career of Dr. Ben Carson who, as a political leader is a great neurosurgeon.

Have a great weekend!


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