Dirt thrown on a Mud-wall may stick…but it will not long adhere to polish’d Marble. – Benjamin Franklin
This quote came to mind this week while thinking about the debate caused by the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Not so much the issue of whether or not President Obama should or should not nominate a replacement, but the wrangling that went on between Republicans and Democrats, wrangling that seemingly – or, more accurately, unseemingly – began immediately after Justice Antonin Scalia died this past weekend.
This showed some of our elected leaders, and the two major parties, at their absolute worst. Rigor mortis hadn’t even set in and our leaders were giving a clinic in partisan, bickering rhetoric. It was beneath the dignity of everyone involved, including us, the American electorate.
I found today’s quote in a really good book, Triumph In Paris: The Exploits of Benjamin Franklin by David Schoenbrun and Franklin was referring to people, specifically those in the public eye. Leaders who are inherently good do not have mud stick to them while lesser men do. As I recall Franklin, who liked himself and the life he had built, was referring specifically to himself when some in France tried to disparage him.
It occurred to me those on both sides of the aisle who were yapping about filling Scalia’s vacancy almost immediately after Scalia’s death were not polished marble. They were concerned only with their own partisan objetives. They could even wait a respectful amount of time before starting in on their yapping.
We deserve polished marble, friends. That we don’t have it in the upper echelons of our government is our fault, because we elected everyone there.