Saturday October 25, 2014
October 9th, 2014
Did Julia Pierson get pushed off the glass cliff?
Writing in The New Republic, Bryce Covert suggests that Pierson's gender - she was the first woman to run the Secret Service in its 149-year-history - played a role in her demise.
Repeatedly over the last year and a half, I've written about teachers in Catholic schools and leaders in Catholic parishes who were dismissed from their posts because they were in same-sex relationships and - in many cases - had decided to marry.
Every time, more than a few readers weighed in to tell me that these people had it coming. If you join a club, they argued, you play by its rules or you suffer the consequences.
I was in the jittery Supreme Court chamber on a summer morning in 1992 when the right to abortion was on the line. As the justices took their seats, no one except court insiders knew whether the session would end with five votes to overrule Roe v. Wade, or with something more restrained.
Let's consider the walrus crisis.
They're piling up in Alaska. About 35,000 walruses have formed what looks to be a humongous brown ball along the northern coast. A mass of critters, some weighing 4,000 pounds, are pressed shoulder to shoulder - or flipper to flipper.
When you hear Rep. Darrell Issa, one of the president's harshest Republican critics in the House, demanding to know whether the president is safe, it's tempting to believe that, at least for a moment, partisan politics has been put to one side in what should be a united and nonpolitical commitment to the safety of our president and his family.
Put a taller fence around the White House complex and lock the doors.
Then get rid of the dry rot in the Secret Service bureaucracy, restore staffing to reasonable levels, adopt the latest technology and develop new protocols to replace the ones that didn't work. But don't use the recent shocking lapses in presidential security as an excuse to further separate Americans from the symbols of their government.
The latest disclosures of Secret Service breakdowns in the agency's prime mission, the physical protection of the president, are grim reminders of a most disturbing particularly American malady -- the assassination of the nation's political leaders.
Bill and Hillary Clinton's new granddaughter captured the headlines this week, but two other presidential grandchildren may catapult to political stardom next month.