Colorado Editorial Roundup
A sampling of recent editorials from Colorado newspapers:
Loveland Daily Reporter-Herald, Nov. 17, on states calling for secession after President Obama's re-election:
When they petition to secede from the Union, at least those upset by President Obama's re-election can say they did something about it.
By the thousands (which isn't much), "patriots" across the nation have signed petitions to withdraw their states from the United States. To be accurate, they have put their names on petitions on the White House website, in numbers enough to trigger a response from the administration. Petitioners in more than 30 states have reached the 25,000 signature minimum to elicit a response.
The response should be, "no."
The notion of dividing the nation — literally — over a presidential election is laughable but nonetheless a symptom of the deep political divide in the nation.
But political division should not lead to the dissolution of this nation, and it won't. That the United States chooses leaders peacefully sets it apart from many other nations around the world. It makes us the envy of those for whom the ascension and transfer of power are marked by bloodshed or bitter divorce.
So, for those who want to dissolve the Union before accepting another four years of President Obama, be satisfied to know that your dissatisfaction is heard, and that you continue to have the power of the ballot, which has not been taken away.
If you are serious about not wanting these United States any more, then ... well, Canada remains an option. A few of those unhappy with George W. Bush might still be there.
The Gazette, Nov. 13, on Gen. David Petraeus:
Men of honor don't cheat on their wives. Men of integrity don't risk the nation's security while philandering. Gen. David Petraeus has disgraced himself by doing both.
Shockingly, some don't think he should have resigned. It was just an affair — a mere personal matter. President Barack Obama did not demand his resignation, and reportedly took 24 hours agonizing over whether to accept it.
Marc Ambinder, a veteran journalist and former White House correspondent for the National Journal, argued on Friday that Petraeus should get a pass and continue serving as CIA director if his affair did not compromise national security.
"I have a hard time feeling anything but total sympathy for a man, just a man, who succumbs to lower order temptations," Ambinder wrote.
In another passage of the same article, Ambinder explains that Americans are becoming jaded. As if it's a good thing.
"Americans are developing a broader tolerance for the personal indiscretions of public affairs," Ambinder wrote. "There's a ways to go, and we don't want to become like France or Italy, where affairs are almost prerequisites for power. But we should be able to look at individual cases individually, assuming the news somehow gets out, and make a judgment based on whether the person having the affair can faithfully execute his or her job."
Let's not. Instead, let us continue holding highly-paid government executives to a high standard of moral conduct.
Adultery in the military is a crime. A man who will cheat on his wife — a person to whom he swore fidelity in front of God and family — may have even less moral compunction with betraying his colleagues or his country.
Petraeus is retired from the military, but as an officer on retired status he remains beholden to the military's code of conduct. Technically, he could be charged with a crime.
As head of the CIA, Petraeus was trusted with secrets important to the freedom and safety of every American. We must hold such a man to remarkably high personal standards. A man trusted with our most valuable secrets has no business cheating on his wife, especially with a journalist — a person who earns a living by revealing secrets.
The depravity of Petraeus should sadden us all. He and his wife, Holly, are well known in Colorado Springs. The general has visited on business and Holly frequents our community to advocate for military families.
Petraeus is arguably the most accomplished general since Dwight Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur. His ribbon rack includes three Defense Distinguished Service Medals, the military's highest noncombat honor.
He headed Central Command and U.S. Forces in Iraq. He directed the strategy and called the surge — a risky and controversial move — that successfully turned the tide in our favor. He fixed our mess in Afghanistan.
Petraeus will be the Tiger Woods of public service — an accomplished man who sabotaged his own life. Marriage is a commitment. Violate this contract at the risk of great personal and professional peril.
The Denver Post, Nov. 17, on why Colorado prosecutors are right to drop marijuana charges:
Colorado district attorneys are not known for advocating in favor of legal marijuana — quite the opposite, in fact. So it's a credit to those DAs who've announced they will not prosecute adults over 21 who've been charged with possessing small amounts of marijuana now that Amendment 64 has passed.
We hope other DAs step forward in the coming days to take a similar stand — and that those who've announced they will continue prosecuting marijuana cases will reconsider that course.
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