= Gutless Old Pols
by Tom Plachta
July 1863. A small town in Pennsylvania. Union troops have
been fighting Confederates for 2 days. Shot and shell are
flying. Men are dying by the thousands. It is the battle of
Gettysburg, the outcome of which will decide the question
of the war.
A Union officer on the battle line looks over his shoulder.
To his surprise, he sees a corps commander, one of the North's
best generals. It is Major General Winfield Scott Hancock,
walking among soldiers shooting and being shot at. More general
officers have already died in this war than in all other US
wars, past and future, combined.
The officer approaches Hancock. "Sir, what are you doing
here? You could be killed! Please return to the rear area."
"Son," Hancock says, "sometimes the life of a Major General
is less important than the fact the men know he shares their
dangers with them."
Hancock is later seriously injured, helping repel Pickett's
October 2001. Washington DC. Some white powder appears. It
may contain anthrax spores, a disease fairly easily combated.
Apparently, Republicans in the House of Representatives do
not agree with General Hancock.
Despite the statements of Mr. Bush that we should act normally:
- his cabinet members fly with air marshals pulled from high
- his vice president hides for days and weeks at a time
- the House of Representatives votes to flee the nation's
- the president spends as much time as possible away from
the White House (from Camp David to China)
- Bush flees like a rabbit when America is attacked, and
then goes to one of the sites only after being shamed into
We hear about courage being shown by firemen, police officers,
and plain citizens on an airplane. We see exactly the opposite
from our GOP elected officials.
Ladies and Gentlemen, there are times when the leaders must
take risks to show people that they will share their dangers.
Apparently, though, not in the mind of the Gutless Old Pols
who are Republicans in Washington.