By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
The nomination of Representative Mac McCutcheon by the Republican Caucus assures that he will be the next Speaker of the House. We, at the Alabama Political Reporter, congratulate him and wish him great success in his new leadership role.
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything,” wrote Irish playwright and great thinker, George Bernard Shaw.
I have been a fierce critic of Rep. McCutcheon since he appeared at the pep rally with Mike Hubbard following Hubbard’s indictment, and I expressed outrage when he tried to pass the Star Chamber bill last session. However, recently, he and I have had an opportunity to discuss several issues of importance to both the State and its people. His forthrightness, willingness to listen and desire to represent all of the people has given me hope and confidence in his leadership. We both agree on the need for change, change that must lead to a better State and Legislature.
Our publication is not an enemy of the Republican Party. We are not haters – we are watchdogs. To borrow a phrase from the titan of conservatism, Ronald Reagan: “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.” We will continue to bring the light and the heat, by way of honest reporting, regardless of who is in power; friend or foe.
According to those close to Mac McCutcheon, he is a man who shows honesty and integrity. Some of the same people who trust me, trust him, as well.
We can try to walk in another person’s shoes, but we can never be absolutely certain of an individual’s motivation. We can study their actions, but we cannot know their heart. As the Scriptures ask, “For who among men knows the thoughts of man, except his own spirit within him?”
In a civil society, each person is accountable for their own behavior; this is particularly so with public servants. Theodore Roosevelt said, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again… if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
As Speaker of the House, Mac McCutcheon will be carrying a heavy burden. But, there is an opportunity to do good for all Alabamians, and not just a privileged few. Speaker McCutcheon can right this “ship” of State, which is listing badly, in need of a steady hand on the wheel, but he cannot do this alone.
It is time to put away our differences, leave the past in the past.
We here at the Alabama Political Reporter say, God Speed, Speaker McCutcheon.