Friday, December 29, 2006

Brain Calisthenics for the New Congress

The New York Times reports “brain calisthenics” keep the elderly from losing their minds, but can anything be done for younger people in the U.S. Senate?

Of Senators who voted against going to war in Iraq, nine ranged in age from 66 to 85. But there was more to it than the cliché about older, wiser heads.

Not one of the 23 dissenters had Presidential ambitions, while many Democrats who gave George W. Bush a blank check for the disaster were clearly influenced by fear that their refusal might be used against them in the future.

As the first “Profiles in Courage” test of the century, those “no” votes of October 11, 2002 on Joint Resolution 114 ironically resulted not in political suicide for those who cast them but as a headache for those who did not.

Now here is a brain exercise for Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, John Edwards, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd et al: To undo the damage, try hard to imagine what is right rather than what looks safe.

Don't fund the "surge" until you are sure it isn't a ploy to save Bush's face at the cost of more American lives.

Being tough-minded may not always get you what you want, but as you grow older, it will certainly keep your mind and spirit from deteriorating.

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