The future of Michigan and West Michigan politics is being decided not in our state, but in the corridors of Washington. For a few smart pols have seen the writing: now is the time to stand up for the state and yes, for the much maligned General Motors and the much-maligned auto industry. What is remarkable is the way that so many area and state politicians have become remarkably tongue tied about this. Some have not.
Bluntly, this is one of the most important issues to have faced our state. The enormity of a potential failure, the continuing impact of “successful” bailout can immobilize civic leaders. The enemy at hand is the sense of helplessness, a sense that muffles our voice and dulls our imagination.
That silence is all to present. Where is Vern Ehlers? The last news on his official site is dated November 21. Is it too much to ask that we see him speaking out for jobs here in our community? Where is governor-wannabe Terri Land? Meanwhile Hoekstra has certainly said some things even backtracked, the better to protect his gubernatorial chances (of course, with the requisite, right-from-the-playbook swipe at unions).
Yet if some are tongue-tied, others are not.
Virg Benero speaks out eloquently, forcefully on the problem.
Grand Rapids City Commissioner David LaGrand has not only spoken, but is paying his way to lobby in Washington. “Ten thousand jobs on the line” is how he puts it (and leaves you wondering about other leaders along the Grand)
And to be bi-partisan:
Gubernatorial candidate and Attorney General Mike Cox has argued early.
And Thaddeus McCotter (CD-11) matches Benero for passion and forthright speaking.
This is a battle that will define Michigan politics for the next two years, and likely for far longer than that. For those who aspire to real leadership in our communities they will have to stand up and be counted. Make not mistake, the battle for 2010 has already started.