In The Wizard of Oz we learn there is no Wizard, only a plump man behind a curtain pushing buttons. When Dorothy confronts this fraud, he says, “I’m not a bad man, I’m just not a very good wizard.”
You can say the same of our congressmen, especially George Nethercutt. Remember Nethercutt beat the powerful House Speaker Tom Foley, 6 years ago, by promising to serve no more than three terms. Now that the time has come for Mr. Nethercutt to hand back power and return home, he’s waffling. He talks about his power to deliver goodies for the district what a great and powerful wizard he is, you see!
Now Nethercutt says he must deliberate and speak to the people of the district. Of course, keeping one’s word shouldn’t require so much deliberation. But in any case, Nethercutt is constantly avoiding meetings where his term limits pledge might come up. Spokane’s Lilac Festival Parade had expected to see Nethercutt, but with forty or more citizens holding signs saying, “KEEP YOUR WORD, GEORGE,” he didn’t show. Nethercutt had confirmed a meeting with Disabled Veterans. But a large contingent of veterans carried signs and banners asking the congressman to keep his word, so again, no Nethercutt. Local activists called for a meeting to talk about the issue. Nethercutt’s office said submit the request in writing. That done, and two more letters to boot, there is still no meeting, and in fact, no response.
George Nethercutt is not a great wizard, but who is? The problem is that if Nethercutt breaks his word he’ll cease to be a good man. There can be no happy ending to that story.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.