The Next Speaker
I give you the next Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Honorable John Boehner (R-Ohio)
No sensible person would deny John Morgan the right to make a good living, and Morgan has agreed to take the same salary as the outgoing Chancellor in light of the controversy over his appointment as Chancellor of the Board. The problem really lies with the fact that shortly before Morgan was officially hired, the job requirements were changed in such a way that a position that previously required a doctorate degree now only requires a B.A. Morgan may be well qualified through experience and thus deserving of the job, but if that is the case, the original description of the position should rightly have been "doctorate preferred, but not required."
Your Examiner had a conversation with the Congressman this morning. He took the time to return a call-personally-about whether he might be able to attend an event in April sponsored by Conservatives On the Move featuring former White House Political Adviser Karl Rove. What was a routine business call turned into a 30-minute sounding board, and Phil Roe asked everything from the opinion of this writer on the political and electoral situation in Congress to whether the district lines should be redrawn after the census results come in to put all of Jefferson County in the First Congressional District. What was impressive about the phone call wasn't that it was made, it was that Congressman Roe bothered to make it while he was on vacation with his family-the only time all year, he admitted, that he has been able to relax.
The way that this campaign was conducted on the other side holds some lessons for how primaries ought to be conducted in the Republican Party. The dirtiest that Jeff Yarbro could go against Senator Henry were commercials that showed that, lo and behold, Henry is old. Most Democratic voters, whether they voted for Henry or for Yarbro, didn't seem to care how old Henry was, the issue for many of the Yarbro voters was that Senator Henry was too conservative for their tastes.
Outgoing Republican Leader Jason Mumpower warned the members of his caucus against presuming victory in November. He watched, Mumpower told House Republicans in May, when the Democrats became more concerned in 2008 over who would be Speaker and less concerned over winning an election because they simply assumed they would win in November. Already we see a certain presumptive mentality beginning to sneak into Republican ranks as veteran members announce their candidacies for Speaker before the voters' ballots have even been cast. Only House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada (R-Franklin) was coy with The Examiner when he was asked in May very directly whether he was running for Speaker. "I don't even want to talk about that until after the General Election," Casada said-and rightly so.
While incoming freshman do need a watchful eye on them to insure that they know what they are doing and that they are making decisions that will eventually cause them to incur a baccalaureate degree, treating them like babies will not empower them to develop the critical thinking skills and the independence they need to survive in the wider world. The State and our universities want to improve their graduation rates, but those rates would already be dramatically improved if universities admitted prospective students who are supposed to be in college rather than merely those who are being told that they should go to college.