Two men who have shown they are serious about leadership: Congressman Jim McGovern and Governor Deval Patrick.
Is Rep. McGovern’s act of civil disobedience getting arrested at the Sudanese embassy in protest of the genocide in Darfur an act of leadership? You bet it is. First, because he is dead on right that the attempt by the Sudanese government to destroy groups of its own people simply cannot be tolerated; and second, because even with constituents facing hard times at home, Rep. McGovern is unwilling to shelve important humanitarian issues. Many pols today would skip that event, fearing it would play at home as if he is not focused on the economy. Both McGovern and his constituents are too smart for that and I am inspired by his symbolic and substantive action on Darfur.
Second, Governor Patrick has shown tremendous leadership by laying out for the legislature the urgency of the substantive agenda facing the Commonwealth. He is right to expect action on these issues, especially if we are going to have to raise some taxes to meet expenses in a devastating economy. Is there a reason these change items have not already been thoroughly debated by now, differences negotiated out, and bills passed and signed? No-one should take the Governor’s direct action on this issue as an insult. He is acting in the finest tradition of leadership, refusing to forget that we as citizens have called for action on ethics, pension, finance reform and other key issues.
Thank you Congressman McGovern and Governor Patrick for being leaders in a time when that is exactly what we need. I know there are others in positions of public office who are reading these two stories and wondering when their moment will come to take such a stand. I would strongly suggest that for all of our public officials, that moment is now—on both issues.