Friday, August 19, 2011

The Courage to Slink Away

Sometimes, the irony just bites

Gutshot's book cover
Tim Pawlenty penned (or rather hired somebody to pen for him) a candidate autobio he called the Courage to Stand and  now available on remainder tables everywhere; it's one of the more vapid and self-aggrandizing examples of the genre. Even the cover picture is puffed up.

But I wrote a few words about Governor Gutshot a few days ago as an update to an earlier post; I want to repeat them here because Pawlenty's fumbling in the woods says a lot more about him and his fundamental character than his testament to himself. Here's what I wrote:
[  ] I have always thought that gut shooting the deer was one of the more revealing acts of Pawlenty's odious career. It was a bad and ill-considered shot. It undoubtedly caused great suffering by his quarry. But rather than taking personal responsibility for his action, he abandoned the deer and left the job to others. 
So he could go to a fundraiser in Iowa. If you believe in karma, I think it's at work here. 
Searching for wounded game is part of the ethic of hunting; it is penance for your failure to make a clean kill. This is why you cannot delegate responsibility for the search. We learned more about the scrub TeaPaw on that occasion than any other I can recall. 
Tim Pawlenty's behavior that November day is a blot on his escutcheon that he will have to wear to the end of his days.
Substitute the State of Minnesota for the deer, and you have a pretty good description of Gutshot as governor: exercising poor judgment, departing the scene of the suffering he created, and leaving the mess to others to clean up.

Update: I sat down with the Strib over lunch and read Jim Lenfestey's op-ed in the Strib today. (I have spilled food on the paper daily newspaper - usually cereal or jelly - for fifty years or more; I am not about to stop now.) He wrote a great piece - wielding a much sharper blade than mine - recounting what an "overweening" scrub Pawlenty is. But I especially liked the valediction, because he used the same word I did, "slink."
Tim Pawlenty, who once represented an honest embrace of climate science and the future, now slinks home to a state wounded and reeling from his presidential ambition, his reputation in tatters. 
That's a tragedy [repeating the words of Walter Shapiro about Gutshot's run] to be sure, but not one inflicted by Bachmann, but by Pawlenty himself.

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