This is not a contradiction. Ted Kennedy was one reason I always opposed term limits except in the case of the presidency.
I did not like or support his ultra-liberal philosophy of government knows best so should take the lead in virtually all aspects of our lives. I believe the people of a jurisdiction should have the right to elect whatever candidate they choose. If the people of Massachusetts wanted Teddy, they should have the right to vote for him as long as they want.
The flip side of that coin, I want the same right to vote for whomever I want, be it Nathan Deal, Casey Cagle, Johnny Isakson, Carl Rogers, Lee Darragh, Steve Cronic, whomever. If I want that right, the people of Massachusetts, Minnesota or wherever must have it, too.
Term limits supporters seemed most interested in getting rid of officials whom they disagreed. That interest won’t fly as explained above.
Kennedy’s example could teach the conservative right wing a lot about effective governing according to one’s philosophy, if they would unplug their ears and listen. He didn’t earn the title of the "Lion of the Senate" by staying quiet. He argued fiercely for his goals, repulsive as many of them were to most of us conservatives.
But his indelible mark is on some 2,500 programs. He didn’t get all or even exactly as he wanted, but he got enough that his mark was clear.
The reason was simplicity itself. He would compromise just enough to win veto-proof passage in both houses, and stand by his word, working Democrats in both houses hard for liberal support for some things conservatives wanted but that liberals detested. As a result, he was good, even close friends to a number of conservative senators and representatives.
If Republicans want to retake at least part of the Congress next year and unseat Obama in 2012, they must follow a conservative leader with Kennedy-like skills. I’ll share some possible names and reasons in future columns.
Don’t you forget: Pancake breakfast, 7-11 a.m Saturday at the Civic Center. See you there.
I recently wrote that Deal’s integrity was his strongest asset in the gubernatorial race. That point was proven by the recent indirect attacks on his integrity through ethics complaints. Who benefits most from having surrogates tip off organizations and official committees about alleged violations? Potential challengers! The suspect list isn’t long.
Suspects could be Democratic operatives wanting to weaken him, benefiting any announced candidate or yet undecided one who might enter should the assault weaken Deal. They could be from within his own party from announced or yet unannounced candidates for governor. It could be a combination, not necessarily coordinating.
We may not know the source until we start seeing attack ad bites. The anonymous complaints and allegations must be investigated and results reported. The voters will know what to do when it all washes out.
Already, the state revenue commissioner’s office is backtracking on Deal’s alleged "pressure." I’m sick of the character assassination that nowadays inevitably finds the way into most campaigns. If one wants to attack, attack the philosophy, ideas, recorded votes, etc. They’re fair political game.
Ted Oglesby is retired associate and opinion page editor of The Times. Reach him at P.O. Box 663, Gainesville, GA 30503. His column appears every other Tuesday and on gainesvilletimes.com.