Towery: Both Sides Should Give A Little On Obama Resolution -- I agree 100%
The controversy over a resolution honoring newly elected President Barack Obama has to stop. But all sides need to understand why and how to accommodate the political realities that exist.
For decades and decades resolutions have flooded the House and Senate honoring everything from the local beauty queen to all manner of organizations. I remember back in the mid 1990s when Mark Burkhalter and I introduced a resolution honoring the Falcons on their 30th anniversary as a club. We laughed because we didn’t find many takers to join in, but it obviously passed—this despite the team’s then even less impressive history.
This rather simple act of honoring a new president is nothing new and plenty of members of the Georgia House have ignored partisanship in recognizing significant American leaders in the past. Sorry to tell those opposed to the resolution, but Barack Obama is definitely significant and is our nation’s leader. I think he outranks the hog farmer association or even Miss Americus (yes there is or at least was such a position of honor)—no offense to either.
The suggestion by at least one legislator that the resolution be rephrased and passed as one coming simply from the Black Caucus is unacceptable. It sends the wrong message to a nation just getting over the fact that one of our most famous products, processed peanuts coming from the land of the famed “Georgia Peanut” managed to sicken hundreds and kill several. We don’t need to become the focus of more jokes or attacks.
On the other hand, the great laudatory language used in the resolution could be toned down slightly. Those who support the resolution clearly must understand that something suggesting in essence that this man is basically a saint places Republicans in districts where President Obama is not well liked at great risk against some upstart Republican opponent in a primary. And voters don’t realize that these resolutions pass non-stop and are not considered significant regardless of whose name they honor.
I chose to write this myself so that I could take the blame for any criticism of our position. It seems to me that a resolution noting President Obama’s past accomplishments such as the fact that he is a former fellow peer in his state legislature, his bestselling books, his significant electoral victory, along with an expression of hope that he leads our nation out of these dark days would not only be a reasonable compromise, but something quite appropriate. He is our president and it would be wise to resolve that all Georgians hope and pray that he brings prosperity to our nation while preserving the basic principals we all hold dear—including preserving our freedom, liberty, and security.
My columns in the past weeks have not been full of praise for many of the new president’s proposed policies. But to deny that he has many admirable traits, faces a daunting task, and needs our prayers that he succeeds in helping all Americans—even the so-called rich who aren’t feeling so rich these days—well, such a denial would be absurd and it will, I can assure you, put Georgia back in the hot spotlight of the national media and comedians.
Compromise can surely be met on this issue, and for all I know by Monday will have been achieved. But making this resolution either one simply from the Black Caucus or one that places political lives in harm’s way by making over the top declarations is unacceptable. We are sure the members of the Georgia House will work this one out quickly.