Opinion: These days, quiet leadership vastly undervalued

Here in the United States, the word “governor’ primarily means the elected head of a state, as in Nathan Deal, governor of Georgia. But it also has a secondary meaning:

“Governor: a device automatically regulating the supply of fuel, steam, or water to a machine, ensuring uniform motion or limiting speed.”

That too describes the role played by Deal in Georgia politics. I disagree with him about many things, but on issues from taxation to guns to social policy, Deal has served as a valuable governor — a check on excessive speed, a regulating device — on some of the more dangerous and destructive instincts of his party. Look at neighboring states — Alabama, North Carolina and Florida, for example — and you’ll see governors unable or unwilling to play that role, and those states have suffered for it.

And in states such as Louisiana and Kansas, you will find Republican governors with no personal, internal governors, elected leaders such as Bobby Jindal and Sam Brownback whose ideological fervor and political ambition have pushed their states into near bankruptcy. Deep-red Louisiana even elected a Democrat to clean up Jindal’s mess.

Deal, to his credit, has avoided such errors.

The most recent example is Deal’s intervention into House Bill 159, intended by its original author to update and clarify Georgia law regarding adoption. Last week, in the Senate Judiciary Committee, the bill was hijacked to serve another purpose altogether. Committee members added language to the bill that would let private adoption agencies, working under state contract, refuse to allow adoption by caring, fully qualified same-sex parents if the agency believes such adoptions are inappropriate or immoral.

In other words, the new version of HB 159 attempts to legalize anti-gay discrimination carried out with taxpayer dollars.

In some environments, it would be easy for such a bill to gather political momentum and head toward passage, setting off a series of unpredictable consequences that include the likely loss of federal dollars. But in his role as governor in both the political and non-political sense, Deal has stepped in quickly, mildly noting that “I would hope they would reconsider the addition to this language that could put the whole bill in jeopardy.”

That’s not a blunt veto threat, but it sends the appropriate message to Senate leaders, including Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.

In his message, Deal cited the potential loss of federal funds should the bill pass, but personal belief may also factor into his position; he may also be motivated by a practical fear of HB 159 becoming to Georgia what the “religious freedom” bill became to Indiana and the “bathroom bill” became to North Carolina, making those states appear petty and punitive and thus inhospitable places for corporate investment. Given the national press that HB 159 bill has already attracted, that is a very real danger.

With two years remaining in his final term, in some eyes Deal has yet to cement what some might call a legacy. He did manage passage of a critically important transportation-finance measure, but he did so by punting on the question of state support for mass transit. Last year, voters wisely rejected his effort to take power from local elected school boards and place it unchecked in the governor’s office.

But these days, it’s easy to undervalue leadership that recognizes trouble and knows enough to steer things in a wiser, more decent direction.

 

Reader Comments 0

956 comments
JayBook
JayBook moderator

Important new sheets

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

I don't know which loss would be bigger. Passing the so called healthcare bill or having it fail in congress? Close call.

Citizen-of-the-World
Citizen-of-the-World

People who watch Fox and other right-wing outlets are always saying that the other media outlets "aren't covering this or that" because that's what Fox, et. al. is telling them. But this is very often not true. 

Peachs
Peachs

@rimsky and claim you have ordered the pipe line to be built American only, when you have excluded, the pipeline from having to buy its steel from the US.

Mary
Mary

Another laugh this morning. Susan Rice the ultimate lying puppet scolds the WH on the importance of telling the truth. What a hypocrite!.

rimsky
rimsky

@Mary America's security and global authority are threatened as the White House "dissembles and serially contorts the facts," former National Security Adviser Susan Rice warned Wednesday.

Rice, who is also a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said President Donald Trump's administration was undermining confidence in the U.S. by taking a "vacation from veracity."

++++

Which part of Rice's statement you did not understand.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@Mary 

You castigate Rice for "lies."  But not the WH? 

What was that you said about hypocrisy?

Peachs
Peachs

@Mary might want to try telling the truth yourself, "Mary". 

Citizen-of-the-World
Citizen-of-the-World

@rimsky @Mary Trump is also taking a vacation from governing, every weekend at Mar-a-lago, playing golf instead and costing the taxpayers millions upon millions just so he can be in his country club comfort zone. 

Peachs
Peachs

@Citizen-of-the-World @rimsky @Mary and once again, sucking the press, into advertising his brand free. That is the total reason the daughter is moving into the White House, she wasn't getting a clear reception,outside.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

Trump has had two high-profile EOs overturned (why does he keep trying to be unconstitutional?). 

If his signature bill (gutting Medicaid, repealing the PPACA) gets rejected by Congress, that will make Trump the most unsuccessful (and most unpopular) President in modern times, won't it?

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

I don't think it's gonna pass the house. Forget about the Senate.

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@JeffreyEav 

The Rs can only afford to lose a couple of votes in the Senate, and three Rs have already come out against, with a whole bunch  undecided. 

And Isaakson is out recovering from back surgery, and they might really need his vote.

Peachs
Peachs

@JeffreyEav It is pure joy ,watching a working Congress, for a change, go against a president, instead of a do nothing Congress, do it.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

So last night Andy posted over at Kyle's that Comey should be hung. Lynched, actually.

I'm not normally the tattle tale type, but I figured Kyle might want to know about a public figure being threatened on his own blog, it so I flagged it. 

(In case anyone was wondering just how far someone has to go, for me to flag a comment? Well now you know.)


rimsky
rimsky

Democrats typically have trouble recruiting candidates for Statehouse races, but now they're having trouble keeping up with all the people who want to run.

Candidates are already coming out of the woodwork across the country, thanks to a backlash against President Donald Trump and a newfound recognition on the left of the importance of state legislatures to counter GOP control in Washington, D.C.

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/democrats-vs-trump/thousands-would-be-democrat-candidates-flood-states-trump-backlash-n736761

+++

Looks like it is looking up for the Democrats.

Mary
Mary

What a load of crap! If anything, the left has become the "occupier". But, agree our American spirit did/will prevail!

Peachs
Peachs

@rimsky this is not a country that allows for occupation by minority foreign forces, it is a great country, for that and many other reasons.  The American spirit will not tolerate a use car salesman, stealing a nation of greatness.

Peachs
Peachs

People don't like bad news. Men won't go to the doctor, may have cancer, so don't go and it doesn't exist. There have been women having babies, who had no idea they were pregnant. And preachers have totally taken these fears, and filled the plates with money. God trumped the truth, blind man can see, one fish feeds a family of 1000, mama's water is now wine. 


Into this world steps a use car salesman, whose name is Trump.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

After Inmate With Schizophrenia Dies In Shower, Fla. Prosecutor Finds No Wrongdoing........Prosecutors in Miami-Dade County said that they found no evidence of a crime in the death of a prison inmate who was left for two hours in a hot shower.The state's medical examiner, Dr. Emma Lew, found that Rainey's death was an accident resulting from his schizophrenia, heart disease and being confined in the shower. "It is not substantiated that temperatures inside the shower room were excessively high," she wrote.But the investigation's findings are disputed. As The Associated Press reports, several witnesses said that Rainey's skin appeared to be "peeled back" and reddish in spots, with one inmate claiming that Rainey looked like "a boiled lobster."Witnesses, including a nurse on duty that night, and several inmates interviewed by the Herald over the past two years, have said that two corrections officers, Cornelius Thompson and Roland Clark, forced Rainey into an enclosed, locked shower stall and that the water had been cranked as high as 180 degrees from a neighboring room, where the heat controls were. ... Rainey screamed in terror and begged to be let out for more than an hour until he collapsed and died, witnesses told the Herald. Some of the officers taunted and laughed at him, some inmates who were in the unit at the time of his death said."

Menace
Menace

@BuckeyeGa  Unbelievable.  Actually shameful.  Another example of why it's hard to have faith in law enforement.

Peachs
Peachs

@Visual_Cortex @BuckeyeGa this is a great country, Republicans and Democrats, independents, we just got a drunk driving the new shiny bus. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Peachs @Visual_Cortex @BuckeyeGa

I don't think there's anything "great" about the fealty we Americans show to renegade law-enforcement figures.

I cut LEOs some slack. I know they've got challenging jobs; and in the corrections field, they've got particularly godawful working conditions. But this kind of inexcusable behavior can't be tolerated.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

@rimsky I'm sure Mary looked before posting that NBC did not cover the story yesterday..lol

Mary
Mary

Well, in typical left wing media fashion, NBC, ABC and CBS did not cover the story yesterday of the 14 year old girl raped by two teenage boys. One of them in the country illegally. Oh, btw, they recorded the attack on facebook for the world to watch. The illegal, was actually stopped at the boarder, but under obama's catch and release program he was let go.

Get your collective head out of your a$& libs and put your country and our laws first.

rimsky
rimsky

@Mary It was prominently displayed by NBC.com.  I simply read the news and not waste my time watchiing the tube.

Mary
Mary

Typical response! Two points you like to gloss over. It happened in a school and it was a child raped and broadcast on facebook. Not your typical rape.

Yes border. Focusing on the important point I see Scuba. Typo versus the real issue. Such a joke!

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve

@Mary You do know that NBC, ABC, and CBS doesn't cover every woman raped by her American citizen neighbor, correct?


Or do you have a preference for which rape outrages you more?

Peachs
Peachs

@Mary nor five rapes of illegal immigrates coming over the Texas border, and roaming dirtballs with criminal records, freelancing as our representatives, armed to the teeth.  This is the new thug army, that we have creative in this land of opportunity.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Mary

Oh, btw, they recorded the attack on facebook

No, really? I only heard about a half-dozen accounts of it yesterday...

Mary
Mary

It's a waste of time to view news? But, just to be clear, you are suggesting that by NBC "prominently" displaying on nbc.com and not covering on the evening news as coverage? Try again. That's dumb. Maybe, they will just "prominently" display their WH coverage on nbc.com and not the evening news since it's one and the same.

Peachs
Peachs

@Mary Look into my eyes, you are getting sleepy...


Cut the crap, Mary, I'm wide awake!

Peachs
Peachs

@Mary not your typical rape, how do you introduce evidence ,that is more your smoking gun, instead of ours, and then do a jig in the end zone, when you are 40 points behind?