Since I’ve been following the Ohio Secretary of State ban on absentee ballot application mailings by county boards of elections and the response to that ban by Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald and County Council, I feel compelled to highlight Connie Schultz’s column in today’s Plain Dealer, “Voter fraud is just a dark GOP fantasy.” She makes many good points and arguments.
But also, a forest for the trees image came into view for me I read: since the November 2010 election and the start of the Kasich administration, we keep having these situations where someone says or does something, and then they have to or they decide that they want to undo it. Whether it’s the new Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel apologizing for campaign tactics after getting elected, or Kasich trying to sell his version of what coming to the table looks like in regard to SB5, or now Ohio SOS Jon Husted admitting that he was thinking out loud when he mentioned that one possible response to Fitzgerald’s plan would be to not process certain absentee ballot applications. From Connie’s column:
Husted told me Tuesday he made a mistake “thinking out loud.”
“I was exploring a list of options, which I should have kept to myself until I figured out what I was doing,” Husted said. “He [FitzGerald] took my comments out of context, and mischaracterized my intentions. What I want is uniformity in all 88 counties.”
I will say that Husted’s words, in conjunction with several acts over time, as Connie also points out, and about which I am aware as well, support the sincerity of his regret. The coming actions he takes will tell us for sure.
But going back to the Columbus trendline, set by the governor’s shoot from the hip personality: Recall also that even my state senator, Tom Patton, for whom I have a great deal of respect and with whom I’ve had at meaningful communications about important issues, had to account for voting against something he had meant to vote for, simply because he was swept up in the no-ness of it all in the all-GOP state government and voted “no” by “reflex.”
Governing cannot be about making decisions for Ohio by a gut reflex. Our guts do possess great wisdom when it comes to discerning and deciding about risk. But the way in which we’re seeing it being used as THE way in which to make decisions will cost us all.