Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Brian Schoeneman: 'Trading competence for ideology'

Imagine if I’d done my search for an electrician the same way we’re looking to hire our next Lieutenant Governor.  First thing, I’d need to know if he were a Cowboys or a Redskins fan because there is no way I’d hire a Cowboys fan.  If he made it that far, I’d make sure he liked Star Trek, and believed the Xbox has better games than the PS3.  If he answered all of those questions right – meaning he agreed with me – then I’d hire him.  So what if he’s not licensed, uninsured and never actually worked as an electrician before – he’s Orioles fan!

And when my lamppost isn’t fixed, it must have been because I forgot to ask him if he listened to country music.  Can’t trust anybody who doesn’t like Johnny Cash.

I know that sounds stupid, because, well, it is.  But that’s exactly how we choose Republican nominees today.
And with that, Bearing Drift colleague Brian Schoeneman drove home a point about how scattered and non-focused candidate searches and elections have become in recent years.

Viable candidates and electeds are often thrown under the bus in a personality-driven atmosphere. Too often those qualified to do the job are slandered and vilified while those who spout catch phrases are embraced. Many who have been around longer than a year or two have the "establishment" banner draped around them by those who were MIA in the trenches for years before they woke up.

As Brian concluded in his post:
So why do we spend so much time asking questions that don’t matter and then hiring the folks who tell us what we want to hear?   Isn’t that exactly the opposite of what we should be doing?

I respect Bill Bolling, Bill Howell, JeanneMarie Davis and Scott Lingamfelter for all they’ve been able to accomplish in and outside public office.  They don’t deserve to be attacked simply because they’ve gotten elected, they’ve governed, or they’ve disagreed with someone on their pet policy or insulted their political idol.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if my electrician is pro-life or anti-tax – it matters if he can fix my lamppost.
I hope voters will pay attention and we can get back to that rationality.

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