Tom Friedman’s Sunday Op-Ed posited that “If you want to guarantee that America becomes a mediocre nation, then just keep vilifying every public figure struggling to find a way out of this crisis who stumbles once — like Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner or A.I.G.’s $1-a-year fill-in C.E.O., Ed Liddy — and you’ll ensure that no capable person enlists in government.” Spot-on.
I see the same phenomenon in our local town politics where volunteer, elected school committee members are vilified – via anonymous comments to articles in the local newspaper – for working tirelessly to preserve educational excellence in our underfunded public schools.
At least we know it was John McCain who went after Energy Secretary, Stephen Chu, in a recent Senate hearing. But, note that Chu has been in the job for only nine weeks.
As reported in a New York Times article today, Energy Secretary Serves Under a Microscope. “Dan Leistikow, the Energy Department’s director of public affairs, said that Dr. Chu was a scientist, not a politician, and should be given a little time to adjust . . . ‘A Nobel scientist is more likely to figure out Washington than a career politician is to figure out how to deal with carbon sequestration, Mr. Leistikow said.”
Let’s give Secretary Chu a chance. I know he can pronounce “photovoltaics” as well as “nuclear.”
– Posted by Tom Witkin