Heroism is Many Things: James Rogan, A Political Hero

Published on April 14, 2013

tumblr_lm1qggTqWc1qz99flThe Clintons were very good at tearing people down personally. They went Alinsky on Ken Starr, the Special Prosecutor assigned to investigate Clinton’s misconduct, and everybody else who wanted to make Clinton take responsibility for his lies. This is what political heroes often face, ridicule and vilification even from their side of the aisle. Jim Rogan wasn’t merely battling the Paul Begalas and Jim Carvilles of the world, he was battling the very Republicans who should have been supporting him because they’d allowed themselves to be bullied by the DC media complex and uninformed voters at home that Clinton’s perjury wasn’t perjury, it was about persecuting Clinton over a personal matter of sexual misconduct.

The behavior of the US Senate Majority was as disgraceful as any other Judas moment in political history. When the country needed them to behave as grownups they ran screaming and, quite frankly, the Senate sold the country out to Clinton. They appear to be bigger villains than the howling hordes of Clintonistas attacking Ken Starr and the House GOP. They weren’t willing to go that last very long ten yards for the good of the country. That ultimately is why Jim Rogan will be remembered for being courageous in the face of the howling mob of Clinton supporters and they will be remembered strictly as sniveling politicians.

Character is what you do when no one is looking, a cliché but it is a fact. A President has to be above average in the character department. That’s why George Washington was the measure by which all who held that office are held. This is why Richard Nixon was on his way to impeachment when he resigned in disgrace. What Rogan and the other House Impeachment Managers did, bravely, was show the world that Bill Clinton was every bit as corrupt and vicious politically as Richard Nixon was. The problem was the people who supported Clinton didn’t want to admit their side was the other side of the same vile coin. Someone had to pay for Clinton’s lies and corruption and it would not be “Slick Willie”.

What this book reminded me of yet again is this: There are good men who do run for office. They are the ones who believe in the oath they took and they refuse to have their principals co-opted by politics. These are the statesmen. These are the ones who go against the tide of public opinion to do the right thing. No matter how badly it goes for them, or if they lose their seat in congress, they did the thing no one else was brave enough to do. And that is the definition of political heroism.

Upper Image: Judge and former California congressman James E. Rogan, author of Catching Our Flag

get-attachment (3)Stephanie Janiczek is a former Capitol Hill Staff Assistant, Schedule C Appointee and Leadership Institute alum. Military Wife, Hunter, Horse enthusiast, dog owner, writer and feminist kryptonite

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