Do we truly mean something when we say it? Do we believe in honor, in our yes being yes and our no being no?
It's one thing to give a caveat or when you make a proclaimation or statement; it's something more weighty when you say, "I will..."
To be sure, no one is perfect, and daily we all say things we either don't follow thru with or were lying about. "Yeah, I'll take out the trash right now." "Yes, I will give blood", etc. Certainly a lie is a lie, a sin is a sin.
However, when you get public, when you're a politician, you're automatically going to be (should be) held to a high bar (character does count - and should foremostly before ideology). When you say you're going to do something, if you do not, you'd better have a very good reason why you were not able or did not follow thru with your promise(s).
Politicians have a habit of making red meat statements. Sometimes it's really a game of chicken, calling someone's bluff in an effort to show people that you're serious. The problem is that sometimes the bluffer dodges, and then dodges some more as they make excuses for why they flinched. People don't always weigh the risks, thinking ahead and not only asking "What if", but "Will I, if".
Yesterday I wrote a piece about third parties and the idea that we've been force-fed for so long that you only have an A or B choice. Rush Limbaugh made comments about the current/future direction of the Republican Party somewhat along a similar line (though I suspect he's still a believer in the A, B system). Today Jim DeMint comes out and stated that if the Republican leadership does not hold true in correcting course, he'd leave the party.
Now, some are saying this is just a shot across the bow, a warning to the GOP that Mr. DeMint and others are quite serious about reforming and keeping the Republican Party back to its roots; that Mr. DeMint isn't really serious about that third party thing.
Excuse me? Why would you say such a thing unless you meant it? If you do not mean what you say, then you're being flippant and continuing the game of political compromise.
Mr. DeMint has made a name for himself as a staunch conservative voice in Congress, and a powerhouse for conservatives seeking office or trying to keep their seat. He has made a name for himself as a man with honor and integrity, one who speaks his mind and will live up to what he says.
The concern I have is what standard is Mr. DeMint going to base his judgement of the Republican leadership on?
You can be sure that there are going to be many constituents and pundits that will keep Mr. DeMint's feet to the fire concering his warning/promise.
Mr. DeMint will probably not leave the GOP, but if the public perceives that the Republican Party and it's Congressional leadership has slipped away to a noticeable degree from their pledges and promises and Mr. DeMint does not revoke his membership, he may find that many pundits and more importantly, constituents, might not be so willing to follow him if he decides to continue running for/holding public office.
Let your yes be yes Mr. DeMint, and don't play games with your constituents thinking yourself politically coy. Continue to be the man of integrity that many of us see you are.
Crossposted at Wading Across