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FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR

Sean Eldridge (D CAND, NY-19 PRI) not really showing moral courage on #Syria.

I mean. Politicians are going to have to pick a side, here.

Sean Eldridge, the soon-to-be Democratic congressional candidate and husband of New Republic owner Chris Hughes, is staying silent on the Syria debate, even as his opponent has stated firm opposition to a military strike.

The Syria debate has put several candidates in a bind ahead of the 2014 elections — none more so than Eldridge. He and Hughes are close friends of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders who support Obama’s proposed strike. Hughes also worked on Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. At the same time, a large majority of Americans — including Eldrige’s would-be constituents in New York’s 19th — oppose the strike.

Given three full days to respond, neither Eldridge nor his spokesperson replied to multiple requests for comment on Eldridge’s Syria position.

As Politico noted: Republican incumbent Chris Gibson is firmly in opposition to a Syria strike. Whether you agree with that position or not – and I’m not judging people on it, either way – it is nonetheless a position. What Sean Eldridge is apparently trying to do here is run out the clock, in the hope that once the USA commits to do something on Syria it won’t matter what his position was. Which makes Eldridge quite the… equivocator, doesn’t it?

Let me finish this up by offering this quote to Sean Eldridge – and every other American politician out there, come to think of it. It’s from Edmund Burke’s Speech to the Electors of Bristol, which means that the Republican politicians are already nodding and the Democratic ones are currently looking it up. Here goes:

Certainly, gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion, high respect; their business, unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But his unbiassed opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the law and the constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.

It’s all right for a pundit partisan hack such as myself to say I don’t know when faced with a tough call. I’m not running for anything. But we pay our Representatives the princely sum of $174K a year to first make tough calls, and then to stand by them. If Eldridge doesn’t want to do that… well, it’s his privilege, but he’s trying to get into the wrong profession.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

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