Rich Galen

Anyone who has ever run for office knows this: Running FOR an office is far, far different than serving IN an office if you win.

In my wild and varied career I have actually run for office - a couple of times for City Council of the metropolis of Marietta, Ohio 45750. The first time I lost by two votes. By the time my second attempt came around, I was married and the woman who was to become the Mullings Director of Standards & Practices took command of the campaign and I won easily.

Then … I had to serve. I was put on the Planning and Zoning, and the Police and Fire Committees. The latter because, during my seven-and-a-half year undergraduate career at Marietta College, I ended up on a first-name basis with just about every member of the police force.

I had, foolishly as it turned out, run on a platform of "The Marietta Code of Ordinances is woefully out of date. We should delete it, return to the original ten laws - the Thou Shalt Nots - and start again."

Made for a really good applause line at candidate cattle shows but after I won, the President of the City Council decided to teach me a lesson and appointed me chairman of a select committee to overhaul the Marietta City Codes.

During the recent campaign for President, candidate Obama pledged to close the prison at Guantánamo. The American Civil Liberties Union ran a full page ad in the New York Times to remind one and all of that promise.

In the accompanying press release the ACLU wrote:

Obama, as a candidate, pledged to "close Guantánamo, reject the Military Commissions Act and adhere to the Geneva Conventions."

The ACLU, also called for President Obama to foreswear anything stronger than reduced potty breaks in interrogations, saying,

The ACLU calls on President-elect Obama to sign Day One executive orders banning the use of torture and abuse.

In case you didn't think they were serious, the ACLU wrote: There is no room for patience or delay in these areas. We have to hold President-elect Obama's feet to the fire if we're going to turn hope into reality.

Let's take a moment to examine that phrase: "Feet to the Fire."

In one sentence the ACLU's demands that unsavory techniques be banned from questioning suspected terrorists. In another, the ACLU urges putting the feet of the President of the United States into a flame to force him - torture him, if necessary - to do what they want.

Interesting, huh!?

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at