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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of  October 24 - 30, 2001


Congress flinched

Supposedly, leadership starts at the top.

Had other Americans followed the lead of the U.S. House of Representatives last Wednesday, they would have run to the basement, thrown a blanket over their heads and refused to go to work.

The House adjourned and representatives left Washington, D.C., in the face of an anthrax attack. A letter containing anthrax spores had been discovered in the office of Sen. Tom Daschle, R-South Dakota, but members of the House feared anthrax spores may have entered air ducts.

The U.S. Senate took a different approach. Its members refused to adjourn, refused to leave town, because they were concerned about the message desertion would send to the rest of the country.

This was the better decision.

Turning tail and running, all the while telling the rest of America to go about its business, was disgraceful. The excuses donít wash. One representative justified the action saying it was only for a couple of days and that the House had to close to protect the thousands of non-elected aides and other workers.

Horse feathers.

The House could have dismissed workers, removed members to another location and remained in session. Claims of not being able to continue work without staff support were ridiculous. The question in this case wasnít productivity. It was courage in the face of attack.

The New York Times didnít stop the presses when it received an anthrax-laced letter. NBC, ABC and CBS didnít cancel news broadcasts when the offices of their news anchors received the same. The Wall Street Journal, whose Manhattan headquarters were evacuated during the attack on the World Trade Center, didnít miss an issue.

The U.S. Postal Service hasnít shut down even though two postal workers died after contracting the worst form of anthrax. Postal workers continue to report to work even knowing thereís no fast fix for contaminated mail.

Members of Congress let the terrorist attacks get to them. They panicked. They succumbed to fear.

They are back to work this week. Thatís where they should stay.

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.