“Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man that he didn't already have.”

    November 22, 2010
    Daniel Zwickel ben Avrám

    Now, I’m not saying that President Obama doesn’t have a heart. But he appears to have put away his conscience, along with his credit cards and other personal effects, like trust funds, that you have to tuck away for the duration, until you leave the Office. (Then there’s the picture of Obama, oil can in hand, unable to move to unfreeze his rusted-shut conscience. Or could his holding a precious OIL CAN have a deeper significance? And how ’bout that thing on the top of his head. Is that how he funneled the independent decision-making out of his brain?)

    I mean, a person who calls himself a Christian would not have ordered what Obama has ordered in Afghanistan (unless you are a Leviticuite Christian, the sort that would have a wife stoned to death for having the temerity to disobey her husband.)

    Much has been made about the difficulties of being President, a job that has vastly outgrown just one person long ago. Suggestions have been made, such as having a king, for social and ceremonial purposes, and a prime minister for the nuts and bolts.

    It becomes hard to keep track of right and wrong when you're juggling the planet. So here's a suggestion:

    Create a new position: Conscience of the President, someone she or he would have to listen to on a regular basis, like it or not, tell the President when he or she has violated the Hippocratic Oath — “first, do no harm.” After all, what’s good enough for doctors saving lives should be good enough for someone who orders the taking of lives.

    Dennis Kucinich, bless his heart-the-size-of-an-NBA-point-guard-in-a-body-the-size-of-Spud-Webb, had the chutzpah to propose that non-violence be made the operating principle of our domestic and national policies. Now, there’s a novel idea.

    Here’s another one: require all public servants (i.e., politicians) to take the Hippocratic Oath, under pain of fine and/or imprisonment. Watch that clear the decks! So, Kucinich would definitely make the short list for CotP.

    But I like him just where he is. There are those who are on this earth to comfort the afflicted; My Man Dennis is here to afflict the comfortable.

    So I nominate Über-theologian, Karen Armstrong, author of the Charter For Compassion.

    Do I hear a second?