A few short weeks ago, Senator Mike Lee of Utah proclaimed that his balanced budget amendment was the only solution for America’s fiscal problems. Ultimately, when push came to shove on the matter he was forced to back down. Unfortunately for the nation, his refusal to compromise on a real working solution cost us our perfect credit rating. Tea Party principles and not the best interests of the country were in play until the very end.
The problem for Utah, however, remains. We’ve found ourselves within a void of no-return. We’ve aligned with the forces of Mike Lee without the benefit of a true leader. Leadership can best be described as making decisions that benefit the most number of people, or making decisions that adversely affect the fewest. The credit downgrade debacle, no matter how you slice it, produced no clear leader within our Senate delegation. Taking a stand at any cost is not leadership.
What’s worse is that Mike Lee’s identity will slowly drift away from the Tea Party Collective and morph into something that defines most politicians — the desire to be re-elected. We see it happening with Senator Hatch this year while he attempts to party with the Tea Partiers. It’s not about doing what is fashionable or following the trends. It’s about doing the right thing, for the right reasons, every time.