These are challenging times and if we ever needed real leaders, well, now be the time. President John F. Kennedy was fond of (mis)quoting Dante but the sentiment is unforgettable and maybe even more pertinent now: “The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.” The real quote
What passes for leadership now in the public sector are timidity, passivity and faux sincerity. With acrimony and sanctimony the modus operandi in congress we are happy when a member merely keeps his pants on or her profits public.
Author Jim Collins, who wrote Good to Great and Great by Choice, has studied and written extensively on successful organizations with an intense focus on leadership. While he primarily focuses on what makes transformative and truly effective leaders, some skills are unimportant, even dangerous. These are likewise critical to identify, and equally important to avoid. Personal charisma is exactly one of those traits.
Amiable and charming are sometimes alluring distractions from decisiveness, integrity, and even harsh realism. According to Jim Collins great leaders are “paranoid performers.” They’re always asking, “What if,” and then preparing for it. They think about and anticipate the day of “bad things.”
Yes, I have written about why Denny Heck will not receive my vote and how his campaign is little more than a You Tube of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee faxes from DC. But please read on as I hope this dialogue will benefit from (intelligent and productive) comments from other viewpoints.
Let me first say that I have no reason to believe that Mr. Heck lacks integrity or is any way dishonest or is dishonorable.
Some articulate that is enough. Case closed. Because Herrera is unqualified to lead and is so far on the extreme right, on virtually every issue, the fact the Mr. Heck is a D and he is not a criminal is enough to justify a vote for him.
Another view often argued is that because Congress can (will?) go R this next session every seat is critical and one (who wants and cares about the D’s – as opposed to the Tea Party/R’s writing our laws) must support every D running for election. I not only recognize the validity of that argument but in other races on this very ballot I am voting for candidates I feel are not really worthy of the office but because I would rather the office to be held by a D I will hold my nose and vote for them.
So when some of my fellow progressives sneeringly refer to Mr. Heck as the establishment candidate, or the business candidate, a part of me resists. I want a better sense of where Mr. Heck is on the issues of the day. And especially, of course, where he is on healthcare, and our overseas adventures.
Sadly, Denny Heck's official campaign website is of no help at all. There is no substance. No position on any issue. Not one. There is a link to contribute money, though.
As Jon DeVore says in his HorsesAss blog: "So he specifically didn't say anything at all."
Heck declined to say specifically what he thinks should be included in a health reform bill.
“I specifically favor those measures that will provide more people with affordable health care,” he said. “I will freely admit I have not read the 2,000-page bill.”
When Craig Pridemore comes out strongly for the public option and the use of reconciliation to get it passed, why would the Democratic base want to give Denny Heck the time of day, let alone their money, volunteer hours or endorsements?
That's not a rhetorical question.
As I said, I'd love to find a reason to be undecided, to feel like I'm being confronted with a serious choice here. So, what am I missing?
Deb Wallace just announced she is dropping out of the race to replace Brian Baird as Representative for the 3rd Congressional District. This narrows the race for the Democratic nomination, effectively, to Denny Heck and Craig Pridemore, at least at this point. Heck has the support of a great many establishment Democrats, especially in Olympia. Pridemore, a Clark County native, has strong support among netroots progressives.