leadership starts at the top.
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.
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.
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.
the better decision.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Congress let the terrorist attacks get to them. They panicked. They
succumbed to fear.
back to work this week. Thatís where they should stay.