Delawares US Senator Chris Coons

I wasn’t going to say anything; obviously I’ve changed my mind as the controversy continues to swill around Chris Coon’s “no” vote against his putting a certain person who once represented a cop killer on the bench….

Chris has said this vote was difficult for him, and I think it would be for any of us finding ourselves in his position.  It is easy to have an opinion and act on it when sides are clearly divided.  As when it is you against them.

It is not so easy when your close friends are sharply divided, and half want you go go one way; the other half want you to go the next… When in that situation people develop formulas to guide them;  such as take a poll and alienate the lesser amount;  another is to check with those who are closest to you, and go the way they suggest.  A third is to flip a coin, since you lose either way and gain nothing.  A fourth is to skip the vote.  And a fifth, is to actually look inside yourself, weigh all the data you are privileged to see,  seek out the best and worst of both sides, then make a decision on what you think is best…

That last one is a doosey.

But that is what we elect our officials to do.  We can’t be there ourselves.  We have mouths to feed, bills to pay, bosses to satisfy, and spouses too mollify, and our duty is to pick who we think will do their best making these decisions in our absence…  Among leaders, we call it delegation. We delegate these decisions to someone else, and trust they make the correct and right ones.

If you read through Chris’s statement, the emotion jumps off the page that it wasn’t an easy decision for him.  None of us who throw invective bombs his way, ever sat down with the family of a fallen police officer and ask how they feel.   Therefore we only know half of the equation; and to be straight up, that half is the left-brained, logical side of the equation.  Respectfully, the lawyer who represents a client should not be pasted as being aligned to that client, because that, is what lawyers do…. Neither should a plumber be blamed because he once fixed Eric Bodenweiser’s faucet…  Same thing;  logically speaking;  it’s work, that’s all…

But tell me truthfully… did you just cringe when I mentioned fixing Eric Bodenweiser’s faucet?  If you were in a bar, and this great guy next to you suddenly spilled that story that he once went to that house, of that man, and took money from him,  speaking strictly for me, I would immediately begin looking for another conversationalist… I’m just being honest.  I don’t know why, it is completely illogical…. But there is just that stigma…. that kind that causes a shudder from the very inside of the heart, outward…

Again.  no offense to anyone in bringing up this description.  We all can agree it is just a example of human nature.  But it is a very “BIG” part of human nature….

Which means it plays into the equation because all of our transactions are human…   Those of us taking Coons to task probably did not look very deeply at the ramifications of having someone like that on the bench.  Would there be more jailhouse deaths of inmates, because cops felt the defendant would be let off and knew he was guilty?  Would there be less arrests because cops knew their charges would get pardoned anyway?  To be honest, probably not, but since those thoughts just ran through my mind I’m sure there are other out there affected similarly….

But what this huge controversy does manifest, no matter which side you happen to be on, is that this decision was tainted.  Either way, there is going to be this  stigma, one way or the other, to one party or the other, always attached to this appointment….

With every decision this judge would make, forever into the future, … that stigma would  get called into account.   Either one side or the other would be outraged with every decision being made, by a far greater degree than if those same exact decisions had been made by someone we’d never even heard of before….

And that is where leadership comes into play… Whereas weaker minds would pick and choose sides, debate back and forth whether the one side or the other should win out in the end,  the real leader looks at the big picture, charts the path forward over years and decades,  and says “what would make all this go away, and get ourselves returned back to business as  normal in the shortest possible time frame?”

When that becomes the parameter, the correct answer almost smacks you in the face; it is so clearly obvious what must be done….

Call it Chris’s Lawrence of Arabia moment;  when you see the big picture and know what it is you must do. There are bigger, more important battles that need fought.  Allowing a tempest in a teapot to derail the future of the entire nation is in no one’s best interest.  Someone else, who will do just as great of job sitting on that bench can be found….  By then, many new crises will be upon us, and we’ll all be fortunate we are not reliving this distraction, over, and over, and over….

We made it go away… Whether it was this guy, or another, or a woman who sat on that bench, would not make any probable difference to your life, or mine. There are a lot of people out there who think the way this ex-lawyer does, who have the same depth of feeling towards civil rights, and I’m sure another one can be found rather quickly..  To let that distract from imposing higher taxes on the wealthy, from standing up to brutality in sub-Saharan Africa, from protecting Social Security,  from fighting the corporate influence that is slowly choking off everything good we used to love about America, would be in error…  And we’d be willing to throw all that away for what?  Just for a puny public show to prove how tough we are that we can stand up to the Fraternal Order of Police and not back down?

There may be another time to do so.  For example to preserve our Miranda rights.  To protect habeas corpus would be another one.  To keep the 5th Amendment intact would be a third… Those are all worth losing political capital over.  Each of those make decisions that really matter, to not only ourselves, but future Americans down through the years as far as our eyes can see.

You aren’t standing in his shoes.  He is.  It is called “doing your job” and it is why we elected him; to sometimes even save us from ourselves when  necessary…

Oh, well, you can think what ever you want about him, do whatever you want;  it’s your right, I won’t say any more; there other far more pressing things needing my attention… But just remember this;  that if you were in his shoes, at that time, making that decision, would you simply fall back on your prejudices and pap philosophies, perhaps your political nature that automatically always chooses one side over the other?  Or… would you too, look at both sides, and figure out by yourself what America really needs at this point,  then do something constructive to move us in that direction?

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