Editorial: Political Courage

There are enough villains in the current economic crisis to populate a small country - not just predatory lenders and Wall Street gamblers but irresponsible borrowers, too That eagerly got in over their heads, but that's history. What we have to do now is quickly put in place the mechanisms necessary to prevent a cascading collapse of the U.S. and perhaps the global economy.

So what are our politicians, our legislators doing while Rome is burning? Many of them are fiddling - worried more about their jobs than the economic health of the nation - fearful that any "yes" vote on a plan to stabilize the economy would cost them re-election. Democrats and Republicans in the House joined together Monday to defeat the $700 billion dollar emergency rescue bill that government leaders from the President on down say is critical to healing the economy. Most of those voting "no" are up for re-election and are being scared silly by thousands of e-mails and telephone calls from voters who don't understand the complexities of the situation and who see the bill as just a bailout for Wall Street fat cats.

Among those who took the cowardly way out are representative Dennis Kucinich and Representative Steve Latourette. The rescue bill should have been explained better to voters but it's too late for that now. There may be time only for another vote on some modified plan.   Let's pray that our self-interested politicians show some backbone.