Why Courage Isn’t Really What We Want, by Killer Dog Nasty (aka Aging Hipster)

I. Introduction
Glittering generalities, we learned in High School Government class (God Bless my government teacher back in Jackson, Mississippi!) are as old as the Republic itself. When the property owning white men of the first Washington term were discussing politics, they threw out many words about the Father of our country. I’m certain that “courageous” was among them. As we count down the days to the end of George Bush’s presidency, both McCain and Obama supporters use the term in application to their candidate.

If we stop and really think about it, though, is political courage a “glittering generality?” What happens when a politician displays real political courage? Do we, as a people, really want political courage?

II. What is political courage?
By definition, courage is “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.” In our times, particularly from 2001 to 2006, our current President’s stubbornness is often misperceived as courage. True political courage, for example, might have been realized by a withdrawal of troops from Kuwait after Hans Blix’s fruitless inspection. To be fair, it might have been displayed by President Clinton actually doing something about Social Security’s long term stability in 2000, instead of just talking about it.

III. Historical examples
In my own lifetime, I recall the candidacy of John Anderson in 1980 as my first encounter with political courage. Going up to New Hampshire in January of that year, Anderson made a show for himself by going in front of a gun convention and endorsing some forms of gun control, and was met by a chorus of booing and catcalls. While the other candidates at the forum denounced him, Anderson’s stunt made the news, and kept him in the spotlight all the way to a third party candidacy that gathered more than 6 million votes.

Walter Mondale’s disastrous attempt at political courage four years after Anderson led to his political annihilation. His statement that Ronald Reagan would raise taxes was proven correct in 1986, but it didn’t matter.

Ultimately, both Anderson and Mondale were rewarded with defeat.

Sometimes, political courage comes when a candidate actually wins and then attempts its use in governing. In two cases, this just led the electorate to conclude both leaders were flip-floppers or liars. George H W Bush’s agreement with the democratic congress to a tax increase partially led to his later undoing in 1992. This came after his famous “read my lips” pledge to not raise taxes. Bill Clinton’s popularity declined sharply after he rammed through a tax increase that was designed to balance the budget. In doing so, he paved the way for the GOP to enact a “contract on America.”

In both cases, the President displayed political courage instead of stubbornness. In both cases, they were rewarded with defeat.

IV. Political cowardice
The flip side of the coin is political cowardice, always in abundance, and usually always leading to disaster. Andrew Jackson’s life was saved by a group of Cherokee warriors at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in the War of 1812. He betrayed an entire nation of them later when gold was found in Georgia, making sure they were sent to Oklahoma. The beneficiaries of the betrayal were voters crucial to his political career. Later, the five Presidents before Lincoln allowed slavery to pull the country into war while the debate grew more extreme. The Whig Party died because it failed to confront slavery. Though the Spanish-American War was mostly smoke and mirrors, President McKinley knew it would help his Republican Party, and future President Theodore Roosevelt led a fabled charge up San Juan Hill with a band of barflies he had gathered in San Antonio, Texas. The list of leaders taking the easy way out is quite lengthy.

V. The results of political courage
The results are defeat and punishment. We love to reflect on political heroes and myths that just are not there. We ask our leaders and candidates to be bold and step out of the box.

When they do so, they go down in defeat.



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133 responses to “Why Courage Isn’t Really What We Want, by Killer Dog Nasty (aka Aging Hipster)

  1. Your dog scares me! More to say after my coffee kicks in and I’ve walked my own killer dogs!

  2. She’s the inspiration for my nastiness.

  3. Chef Sheila

    I hate to dampen a great thread, but I have seen political courage from the other side. That’s how we got into this mess.

    Newt Gingrich comes to mind. He honestly believes in his own drivel. Enough that it becamse a real concrete Ideology.

    Karl Rove was another. He’s been very courageous.

    Joseph Biden was the only straight talker on the DEM side leading up to and during the 2004 election.

    Remember one man’s terrorist is another’s hero.

    Now pile on me!!

  4. Sheila,

    Fox Security will be there soon enough to waterboard you.

    I may even sick Killerdognasty on you.

  5. Chef Sheila

    LOL I’m afraid! Killer Dog nasty is a very fearful Canine!

  6. Chef Sheila

    OH! And He may not have gotten the Presidency, but Howard Dean sure made enough of a wave to begin a Netroots wave that is being felt enmass today.

    That was deifnately politica courage, especially in the wake of Karl Rove.

    Looks like Dean has won in the end.

  7. Chef Sheila

    hey Hip! its our Dogs Eye View’s birthday today. That could be seen by some as courage! ;0)

    Happy Birthday Dog. I kow I said this again, but wanted it in stone here on the next thread!

  8. You wouldnt believe how sweet she is, actually. Unless you are a mole, shrew, mouse, rat or snake, all of which she has pointed at and dug out and killed at one time or another over the last 12 years.

  9. I’d say Dean would be more “innovative” than courageous. That’s not a bad thing though. That whole 50 state thing is going to pay long term dividends.

  10. Chef Sheila

    …. I don’t know….it took a lot of political courage to come out after the “Yell” ;0)

  11. A shrew? Well I know where there are plenty of those!

  12. dnd

    “You wouldnt believe how sweet she is, actually. Unless you are a mole, shrew, mouse, rat or snake, all of which she has pointed at and dug out and killed at one time or another over the last 12 years.”

    Are you speaking of dog’s eye view?

    And a big happy birthday to dog!

  13. I am hoping that the “political courage” that Obama is capable of, will be the type that puts him in the White House…and allows change to take place……He certainly has beat the odds thus far….& ….totally agree on Netroots…

    awwwe I think the dog is cute…what’s it’s name??

    Great post – really interesting.

  14. dnd

    I think Gore not wanting a position in the next administration is a form of political courage. This way he can say whatever he feels, unfettered by any political handcuffs.

  15. Ditto on the birthday wishes. Actually, i was talking about that good ole dog of mine pictured.

  16. Very well done piece Steve, and you’re right. We do put our politicians in a “between a rock and hard place”. And Sheila is right too (hey it happens *ducks*). We the American people need to drop this charge of “flip flop” from our lexicon and encourage our leaders to reshape policy when it’s warranted, and not beat them up for it.

  17. Chef Sheila

    LOL Well…Dog is kinda sweet too. lol

  18. McCain and Obama Agree to Attend Megachurch Forum


    Not sure how I feel about this, megachurches do scare me a bit.

  19. UB- she goes by niitials like LBJ and JFK and FDR.

    Just call her KDN.

    The megachurch thing- i dont like it one bit. Not one bit at all. I dont feel like some a-hole pop psychologist preacher like Rick Warren has any business sticking his fat nose in the WH race.

  20. Chef Sheila

    Obama will blow McCain right out of the water on religious beliefs and some issues. But we’ll have to see how he does dancing around the more delicate ones.

  21. Ok, I’m out for a nap, and KDN will be taking one too. She is semi-retired, you know.

  22. what do you say to the argument, “well you don’t know what he meant when he said that?” Is that a FOX line? geeeez my mother is so freaking brainwashed….I showed her clips of McCain flat out lying, then getting caught by Russert and she says, “well you can’t believe that, you don’t know what he meant…..”

  23. I had to walk away and my Husband call for time out….you see we have a ban on political talk when she visits….

  24. Chef Sheila

    My mother is the same way. It has to do with comfort zone.

    Their generation’s comfort zone is inbetween the folds on the American Flag. its a WWII thing and we were spoon fed it when we were young.

    trouble is the Vietnam War molded my wat of thinking. I bet it did for most of us. We don’t blindly follow the Medal Breasted Patton guy anymore.

    They do. My mother didn’t have an argument the other day and told me to stop…..She’s going to vote for McCain because he is Navy and a POW. Nuff said.

  25. Chef Sheila

    Of course my mater is also a tad prejudice too. She just can’t imagine a Black in the White House. I’m sure it sparks some real secret terror.

  26. Well, mine is one who says that everything on the internet is untrustworthy….lol …I was showing her a clip from television on the computer….but it wasn’t FOX so it didn’t count.


  27. from killing shrews I imagine….

  28. My mother is an Obama supporter, nah nah nah!


  29. So many shrews, so few Killer Dogs Nasty!

  30. Mine held and Obama sign at one of his rallys…..and I have a photo to prove it….then I stuck the Obama sign in the front window of her house -does that count for anything?

  31. Is the sign still there or did she tear it down as soon as your car turned the corner? BTW when are you changing your screen name to Vespa Mama?

  32. Karolenna

    Sorry folks for being away so long. Got a lot going on right now, and I’ve been babysitting some. Aubrey is going on six months now and has discovered her voice. Very cute.

    Also, that other site can turn me away from blogs after a while, but there’s much user-friendlier participation here.

    Great piece, Steve. I certainly hope a lot of people want courage and change this year, but there will be some people who are afraid to stray from what they’ve done all their lives. GWB and Lucifer have put so much fear of being attacked into their minds that it cannot be removed. They think having a military record helps in that case, when we have had some pretty courageous non-military presidents before.

    Sheila, I’d say that Rove and Gingrich are more brazen (flagrant and insolent audacity) than courageous, but that’s just my opinion.

    ALL dogs are cute and they all go to heaven! I love that dog in Firehouse Dog that has been playing on HBO recently. There are some funny scenes in that little movie.

  33. Chef Sheila

    Hi Karolenna!

    Good to see you and actually you were missed.

    My point with Gingrich and Rove was that since they believed in everything they have done. Sincerely believed, they have had a lot of courage to stay the course and finally bring people to their corner.

    Both had been drum beating the same message for over twenty years.

    I hate them both.

    But they are an examply to me of political courage.

    A little sociology for my own amusement. ;0)

  34. dnd

    I’m thinking your piece should be sent to every member of congress.

  35. Ok, I asked this on the other blog but people were to busy doing other things, maybe someone here has some insight in this:

    Is it just me or does George Bush seem determined to throw McCain under the bus regarding a time table for Iraq? Is it just a knee jerk reaction of Bush’s to destroy McCain?

  36. Chef Sheila

    one more post before turning the Computee off. Going to Harbors to wipe her brow and then Start walking!

    Brian, I could say I don’t think so, yet I really don’t have a frame of reference for that statement.

    I wouldn’t think so at this time. They agree on everything. They may not like each other, but throwing McCain under the bus would be throwing Bush’s Mini Me.

    But give me a distinct compare and contrast and I may know what your thoughts are for.

    See ya’ll later!

  37. Well there seems to be very little coordination between the white house and McCain about what tact we should now be taking in Iraq and the Bush admin seems to be embracing Obama’s plan.

  38. KDN is semi-retired from her career as a huntress.

    Thanks for compliments gang on the piece.

    DND- if we sent it to Congress they wouldnt read it, and i completely agree that this congress is deeply cowardly.

  39. dnd

    I think Bush is starting to sweat his legacy. Starting to pull troops out would imply the surge worked, and Iraq is now stable enough for us to “stand down.” Remember Vietnam and “peace with honor?”

    Either that or he wants some troops to deploy to Iran…

  40. You might be right about Iran, that hadn’t occurred to me, lets hope you’re wrong! Please god, as my mother would say!

  41. I dont think it is possible for him to start pulling people out of Iraq. I think the people behind him wanted us to have a Permanent presence there.

  42. colleen

    I’m in love…with KDN

    Hip, good stuff! How about a splash of judgement with that courage? Oops, there goes Newt! (sorry, Sheila!)

    Bush just knows that Baracko Bama (Italian), or Barack O’Bama (Irish), is the winner by a landslide, McCain is dead meat and the Bushies are waiting for 2012 for Jeb to take the GOP reins

  43. Karolenna

    Since I’ve been busy the last day or so, don’t know if any of you mentioned this or not. It looks like the Obama people (and I’m sure he didn’t make the decision) didn’t like the New Yorker “satire” piece and Ryan Lizza didn’t get to make the trip; but, I’d bet “there was NOT enough room left”. 😉


  44. Colleen:

    KDN’s the greatest ever! She’s been part of our family since it came together 11 years ago and my wife rescued her from the animal shelter as a pup back in 1996.

    She’s one old dog!

  45. My rage over the New Yorker cover has cooled a lot, I got the feeling the MSM decided to let the story die quickly.

  46. Not that old steve, Tucker is 10.5 and is in great shape, except he’s becoming one of those lumpy, fatty cyst prone boys.

  47. Gotta run for now troops, my kid’s gotta be at work

  48. dnd

    I’ve heard that 200 pressers applied to go. There were 40 slots. If Lizza wanted to go, shoulda postponed the “satire” piece 😉

  49. dnd

    Green John McCain, who supports offshore drilling, is blaming Obama in one of his latest tv ads for the high price of oil.

    Go to:


    and click on “TV Ad: Pump”

    Let’s see. Offshore drilling won’t seriously impact oil prices and will take years to get online. Successful oil man T. Boone Pickens doesn’t think we can drill our way out of this crisis. McCain is either pandering to his base or completely clueless. Or both. This is a shame. I really like the guy.

  50. colleen

    waaaay off topic here, but reacting to the offshore drilling conundrum, here’s an article I read a few days ago that possibly could solve our problems, just no one’s paying attention

    One more good reason to lift the embargo on Cuba
    Let’s seize the potential of the nation’s sugar-based ethanol — before China beats us to it.

    By Joe Conason


  51. dnd

    Interesting post. But if we use all of the sugar cane for ethanol, we won’t be able to have Cuban rum! And they’ll plow up their cigar tobacco fields to plant sugar cane!

    But it’s an interesting idea. I think rather than making ethanol from corn, we should grow sugar beets. It’s a much more efficient and effective way to make ethanol than corn.

  52. dnd

    (Soon to be hurricane) Dolly headed towards off shore oil platforms in the gulf of Mexico. Oil up $2/bbl. Let’s hope it downgrades to a tropical storm.

  53. dog's eye view

    Thank you for the birthday greetings. It has been a good one, and so pleased to spend some of it with my buds at Backchannel.

    Steve: that dog is saying “I get to ride shotgun. Get thee to the backseat.” Plain as day.

    Either that or hogging the A/C. Another dog prerogative.

  54. No, Dog’s Eye, I assure you she is looking at me with adoration!

    Re: Energy policy. We should have listened to sweater clad Jimmy Carter and started doing something decades ago. Although I cant recall the policy specifics, I think Nixon tried to get an energy policy going as well, or at least his domestic guys did.

  55. Tonyb39

    Hey sure enjoyed your piece.I have thought about some of the things you wrote about for a long time.I think its highly unlikely the American people would vote for someone who told them the complete and brutal truth.Truths on energy,health care,wars,education,etc.I think dnd has it right this should be sent to every member of Congress,oh why stop there state legislatures too.Great set of Truths in your piece.Thanks

  56. Tonyb,

    Thanks for the nice words. I really appreciate that. I think guys like McCain and Obama know how much they can get away with. I just feel like Obama is going to be a bit more forthcoming than McCain at this point in his career.


  57. Tonyb39

    I believe your right on Obama vs McCain as far as being more forthcoming in telling the truth.I don’t think McCain knows what the truth is and i really don’t get the purpose of his campaign?What does he and the Republicans have to offer?More of the same Bush policy’s perhaps.No Thanks

  58. colleen

    tonyb, what’s so funny to me about Bush and McCain is that they’re exactly alike yet they hate each other under the very thin surface, I wonder what that means?

  59. A picture is worth a thousand words:

  60. Chef Sheila


    Good to see you. And great to see you don’t pay attention to the dust ups in the other realm of existance. We love to hear from you!

    I feel sorry for McCain. He is sinking below his own Devils Deal. What he really stands for in his own truth is not what he is trying to sell to the Republican Party and the Public. Most intelligent people can see whats really truth and what is a make believe bridge for sale.

    The problem is, McCain isn’t selling himself either. He really looks as thought he’s having a very hard time swallowing this campaign crap he agreed to in order to gain support.

  61. Well, McCain was my guy in the primaries in 2000, but it aint 2000 any more, and to be honest, i;m not even sure what made me want to support him now any way. I should have been for Gore from day 1.

    At least i voted for him that year in the general.

    …and we WON in 2000, including Florida.

  62. colleen

    brian, that picture, ewwwwww!

  63. “Good to see you. And great to see you don’t pay attention to the dust ups in the other realm of existance. We love to hear from you!”

    We do?


  64. colleen

    brat alert!

  65. I love that pic, Bush is so “get this asshole off of me” and McCain is so “please love me, please”

    Not to mention the hetro male contact panic written all over Bush’s face.

  66. colleen

    who do ya think?

  67. I’m completely stumped


  68. colleen

    *snort* LOL

  69. Chef Sheila

    Hip, I know. I was a McCain advocate for a long time. Not sure about voting for him bottom line. but I certainly had a whole heck of a lot more respect for him that now.

  70. dnd

    I’m a little conflicted about the NYT rejecting McCain’s op-ed submission:


    I agree that it’s less a view of his opinions and ideas on Iraq than an attack ad against Obama. Better suited for a debate. It’s a slippery slope to allow that kind of op-ed piece.

    On the other hand, it’s so poorly written and lacking in ideas I kinda wish they’d run it. It couldn’t have been viewed favorably by any other than the rabid right and the Obama-haters.

  71. Chef Sheila

    Did you hear that on Race For the White House where there may be 100,000 German’s and Americans at the speech?

  72. Chef Sheila

    Woops! Breaking news. McCain may make his VP pick this week to disrupt the European Trip.

    Good! Get it out of the way and let the rest happen.

  73. colleen

    it’s gonna be Romney. Tell KDN he puts his dog on top of the car

  74. Chef Sheila

    LOL Poor Puppy, All Romney had to say was that he liked it.

  75. dnd

    I’m a bit surprised that neither candidate has announced plans to show up at Cheyenne Frontier Days. The granddaddy of ’em all.


  76. Chef Sheila

    Dnd, thanks for the link. McCains Oped had the same cadense of one of his speaches. same ole and tired.

  77. Chef Sheila

    Y.A. Tittle? LOL

  78. Chef Sheila

    Thanks to KO for again unwinding all the spin on Iraq.

  79. Kudos to Senator Obama for taking his Sect. of Defense with him to Iraq.


  80. Chef Sheila

    Amen to that. SEDEF John Hagel!

  81. Chef Sheila

    Obama = Strategic
    McCain= Strategery

  82. I think another member of his administration is traveling with him too.

    tee hee

  83. Chef Sheila

    ………….hmmmm………just stuck a fork in him, but I don’t know Obama’s temp preference

  84. Sorry off topic…

    Cool pictures of a Leopard killing a crocodile. First time caught on film.


    Be back later.

    God Bless/

  85. Chef Sheila

    I wasn’t going to look. But WOW. Anon-p….thanks those are awesome shots!

  86. dnd

    Reminds me of the water buffalo vs. the lions:

    water buffalo 1
    lions 0

  87. Obama is now up by 6 in the daily gallup

    Ahead by 8 in Ohio

    Ahead by 2 in Michigan, and ahead by 3 in NH!!!!


  88. KDN is gunning for Romney. She doesnt like Dog abuse.

  89. Chef Sheila

    LOLOL Go go get em KDN!!

  90. The NY Times is not obligated to run anything. What happened to “freedom?’ This is what the GOP does over and over. First, they talk about “freedom” and then they whine and cry when it isnt used in their favor.

    The Christian Right is howling every day on the radio down here about Congress considering the revival of the fairness doctrine. Then as soon as they aren’t treated in (their minds) “fairly” they howl about that too.

  91. Chef Sheila

    They are and its called fair Propoganda Usage in this day and age….

  92. Re: Gallup Daily


    Doesnt look like McCain has been above 43 in Gallup for a while. The bad news is Rasmussen has Obama only +1 today.

  93. Chef Sheila

    did anyone just see that new McCain add on who is to blame for the high gas prices?

    They blamed Obama? lol

  94. Steve I’m really surprised, I didn’t think we’d see an Iraq trip bounce so quickly. I’m willing to bet by week’s end we’ll see a shift on the “Commander in Chief” issue too.

  95. I’m still skeptical about the Gallup and Rasmussen numbers. I tend to see polls this far out as “enthusiasm” barometers. We will really know something, if the past is a good indicator, about two weeks out……

    Remember though that I havent seen much news over the last two or three days, so I don’t know what kind of ink is getting spilled.

  96. dnd

    See my 3:30 post.

  97. Sheila,

    Thats one of the worst political ads I have ever seen in my life. I am now officially going to start referring to McCain’s campaign as a funereal procession.

  98. Steve the trip is proving very successful, I’m down right giddy!

  99. It does seem like he is doing well, Brian.

  100. dnd does McCain’s campaign have their own dirge?

  101. Chef Sheila

    Sorry dnd. Fighting short atention spam….or is it no short term memory? ;0)

  102. Its awful, and they are so freaking dumb.

    I cant believe they trotted out that ad last week about Obama not going to Iraq in a year or whatever they said DURING HIS IRAQ TRIP!

    MY GOD


    And you know the damn thing was being run during newscasts, literally right by reports of Obama being in Iraq. And this gas ad is stupid and a waste of their money.


  103. Desperate times call for desperate measures. You can quote me on that!

  104. Chef Sheila

    So dnd, Steve, Brian,

    Got curious and went looking for
    “Draft Jeb Bush” and http://www.draftjebbush.com is currently under construction. THEY are waiting. ;0) I say the republican convention may end up a coup!

  105. Well, Jeb would be beyond my wildest dreams. Another Bush on a GOP ticket….

  106. Scary Sheila, GORDO might be right! hahah

  107. Ok, time for me to hit the hay. I will be back for the early shift.

    Take care yall

  108. Chef Sheila

    See you in the AM Steve!

  109. Steve…

    I was never dumb enough to believe that anyone in our government tells us the truth most of the time.

    It is nice thought that at least Obama is willing to tell us what most of us don’t want to know or hear.

    Whether or not it will hurt him in the long run only time will tell. I sure hope it don’t, but like you said when they tell us the truth we reject it and turn on them.

    God Bless.

  110. Hey Dog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    God Bless.

  111. Brian…

    All you have to do is look at the first three comments on todays post at you know where to see where the demeaning started.

    An innocuous none hostile comment brought out the hatred and the follow up of meanness.

    God Bless.

  112. Tonyb39

    Thanks.This is nice place here for discussion.I think its important to always try an look at all sides and gather info and make thoughtful reasoned decisions.Now i’m not sayin the heart doesn’t get involved in the process,but passion is good its as they say food for the soul!!! That’s a common thing on both blogs smart passionate people and where there’s passion there’s gonna be dustups…….

    You don’t like hearin from my Donna Summer lovin ass??I don’t believe it……Lets Bring back The Village People………Oh the memories and all that Leather….Maybe Disco Fridays here at the Back Channel???

  113. Tony when you speak like that it makes my testicles retract as if I just jumped into an icy cold lake.

  114. colleen

    hi, steve

    hey, tonyb, must I admit I actually kind of like disco? it’s like that steady, strong, even heartbeat that helps puppies and babies fall asleep and feel safe, like all is well with the world.

    and, this morning’s cartoon:


  115. colleen

    hey, I just posted but it went somewhere to cyberspace…anyway, good morning

  116. Good Morning Colleen,

    I am having Coffee here in Georgia, it is already muggy.

    Obama +2 in Michigan. With Romney’s connections in Michigan and the Rust Belt, McCain must put him on the ticket in my opinion.

    The poll is from the Detroit News. I always prefer the in state polls.


  117. Besides, given the geographic shape of Michigan, a guy named “Mitt” has to be considered. Unless, he decides to go with Charlie “Sock” Crist to win Florida.

    Hardee har har.

    Get it? See Michigan is shaped like an Oven Mitt. Ha Ha

  118. A GOP firm has McCain up 3 in NC


    If McCain loses NC on election night you can all go to bed at 8 because it will be over.

  119. dog's eye view

    Good morning. Anyone else out there?

    Coffee-related item: LA Times columnist Sandy Banks on the closing of 2 south central LA Starbucks.


    … “But Starbucks is about more than a cup of coffee in many neighborhoods. That block-letter logo on a strip mall marquee can be considered a public stamp of approval, a symbol of hope, a suggestion of brewing economic vitality.

    That’s why a new Starbucks in the inner city tends to produce the kind of excitement that suburban neighborhoods reserve for the debut of a Bloomingdale’s.

    The two South Los Angeles Starbucks on the closure list are fairly new, comfortable and sleek. Both — one at the corner of Martin Luther King and Vermont; the other a few miles away on Crenshaw and Vernon — are products of a collaboration with another marquee name, Magic Johnson, and his economic development company.

    When I visited the stores Sunday, neither of the two was bustling. Turns out, both rely on outsiders to fill their coffers — police officers, university employees, government workers, teachers at nearby schools. These customers count on a Starbucks coffee to be the same in South Los Angeles as it is in Woodland Hills.”


    Sounds like a good bottom-line business decision, but think of what seeing a Starbucks arrive — and then depart — implies about a community (to those who don’t live there).

  120. dog's eye view

    Excellent post on political courage, Steve. Will give some thought to other examples of courage that were rewarded.

    SO: another challenge for us as Americans and community members and bloggers: help create a climate where courage is rewarded and we move forward together to begin solving long-standing problems.

    In some cases, hard times can be a help in that regard. The price of oil is finally changing people’s driving and shopping behavior and prompting renewed enthusiasm for new cleaner sustainable energy and other technology (Americans won’t generally switch until they absolutely have to); a tough job market means health insurance is front and center on just about everybody’s radar screen; the shakeout in housing construction and the mortgage meltdown reminds Americans of the cost of sleazy lending practices and what really constitutes a good investment. An unpopular war that should never have been fought makes one appreciate true patriots and brings to attention the sacrifices our troops and their families endure so that most Americans can live without ever putting themselves or their own loved ones in harm’s way.

    So perhaps terrible times will elicit some political courage and bring out the best in the American public.

    The appetite for delusion appears to have lessened.

  121. Thanks Dog,

    Of tough times, I’m always reminded of the depression- and as most of the old C-lister Exiles know, I am a big fan of FDR. Historically speaking, our trying times have always ended up for the best- Pearl Harbor, the Depression, the Civil war and the Revolution—-

    We just need to leadership to get us through the attacks of 9-11.

    I hope that will happen with McCain or Obama. I’m betting on Obama.

    …but any one would be better than Bush.

  122. Chef Sheila

    Good Morning To everyone!

    I am in a good mood! Good night, last night visiting the other blog. I learned a lot and had a nice visit.

    That a change, but a nice one.

    Obama is walking a tight rope today. Good luck to him.

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