04/17/10 — No guts, no glory: Where are the leaders who are really standing up for the people they serve?

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No guts, no glory: Where are the leaders who are really standing up for the people they serve?

It isn't even really a major story -- the news that N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper has decided not to join other states across the nation to challenge the recently passed health care reform law.

We will get to the probable reasons why later.

But what should surprise those who have their concerns about the legislation and doubts about how it was passed and how it will be implemented is the reason the attorney general gave for making the decision he did -- a matter like this should be left in the hands of legislators who represent the people, not the courts.

If as soon as you finished reading that sentence you had an overwhelming feeling of politician covering his butt and searching for a clever way to do it, you are exactly right.

Cooper's job is to protect the citizens of North Carolina from wrongdoing -- and to challenge any decision or any policy that works against those interests.

He is the state's watchdog -- the state's advocate.

How interesting that he thinks challenging a law that has been crafted with more than a few backroom deals and more than a few questionable practices is not his job.

The problem for Cooper is that there are quite a few people who do think it is his job -- if not to challenge the law, to come up with a lot better explanation for why he is not doing it.

What is likely the case -- and so obvious that a kindergartner likely could spot it -- is that Cooper is a Democrat in a year when a lot is being asked of Democrats. If he chooses to suggest that there might be reason to look closer to make sure the interests of North Carolina residents are being protected, he might face some pretty serious heat from the party bosses. And who wants that?

What is most disappointing about the passage of the health care legislation and its aftermath is how clear is seems that there really are not that many people paying too much attention to what their constituents want. There seems to be an overriding disregard for the voice of the people -- and little attention to what they think about the decisions that are being made on their behalf.

Should there be a challenge? Maybe, maybe not.

What there should have been was a bit of leadership from an attorney general who acknowledges that there is some concern among the citizenry about a decision that will affect their lives.

That is putting your constituents before your party.

Published in Editorials on April 17, 2010 10:54 PM