Make no mistake.
The recently published book by former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell is another product of this man’s savvy proclivity for self-promotion.
However, irrespective of the man’s motives, Rendell is on target with the alarmingly accurate title of that book, “A Nation of Wusses: How America’s Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great.”
‘Wuss’ is variously defined as timid, weakling and wimp.
That term is realistically applicable to too many of those either elected to, elevated into or having usurped positions within American leadership circles across spheres from academic to scientific, financial to political and religious.
Wusses accurately describes the many Philadelphia leaders that persistently permit local construction industry trade unions to practice prejudicial employment practices, unlawful discrimination that aggravates the unemployment contributing to this city’s grinding rates of entrenched poverty.
Interestingly, Rendell spent time in the wuss category when cold-shouldering discrimination complaints against construction unions during his terms as Philly mayor and Pa.’s governor.
Wusses is arguably applicable to many Black religious leaders now shouting about President Obama’s mere support for the idea of same-sex marriages while remaining silent on racism in corporate suites that contributes to the economic strangulation encountered by their church members of varying sexual preferences and marital status.
This spring for example, the Wilmington, Del.-based pharma giant AstraZeneca gave a $65-million exit package to its sacked CEO David Brennan, who during his few years of tenure presided over massive revenue losses and the [alleged cost-cutting] discharge of more than 21,000 employees while doing nothing about discrimination in that corporation’s ranks.
Like many U.S. corporations AZ employed few Blacks in its most high-wage job positions.
Some of those Blacks working their way into AZ’s lucrative salary slots found themselves drop-kicked by discrimination that Brennan practically did nothing about.
One former Black professional athlete working in an AZ sales division found himself canned coinciding with his raising concerns about lack of diversity.
Apparently some Black ministers need reminding that they can publicly oppose both same-sex marriage and employment segregation by corporations at the same time if sincere in fulfilling their charge to help those relying on their leadership.
Wusses accurately describes the Republican-controlled legislature in North Carolina bent on ignoring scientific facts about rising sea levels arising from global warming by lap-dogging to pressure from powerful developers wanting to cash in by building on shorelines that decades from now will be awash with waves requiring bailouts.
Those N.C. legislators push legislation prohibiting governmental agencies in N.C. from even recommending the need to prepare for inevitable rising ocean levels by head-in-the-sand demands that the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission eliminate global warming based predictions from a major report on legislator’s crap contention that global warming doesn’t exist.
There are multiple ironies in the title of Rendell’s book.
One irony is that Rendell benefitted from wuss behavior enabling him to continue compiling his illustrative career that provides the platform for publishers having an interest in a book from him.
Rendell is a lawyer, and lawyers are not supposed to lie according to the ethical and professional standards provisions covering that profession.
In 1978, while Rendell was serving as Philadelphia’s district attorney the Pennsylvania Supreme Court castigated Philly homicide prosecutors for “perpetrating a falsehood and fraud” (a/k/a — lying) on that court during a push to win a conviction.
The caustic language in that high court ruling included the unusual step of specifically naming Rendell citing his “misleading” testimony as a prosecution witness during the trial that court ruling voided.
If that Supreme Court and its professional standards body were not wusses Rendell and his prosecutorial confederates would have faced disciplinary procedures if not disbarment for that courtroom misconduct.
And, losing a legal license would not have been the best résumé builder listing for a politician aspiring to higher offices ... thus reducing the likelihood of Rendell’s subsequent climbs into the offices of mayor and governor.
Another irony of sorts is that the “Wuss of the Week Award,” at least the Wuss Award for last week, goes to an entity Rendell once headed: the Democratic National Committee.
The DNC took a dive on the critical gubernatorial recall election in Wisconsin declining to drop needed dimes into the populist driven campaign to removed union busting/middle class bashing tea party-corporate prostitute Scott Walker on the stupid claim that Walker’s recall had little national significance or symbolism.
“Thousands and thousands of people here worked millions of hours in response to which the chair of the DNC offered no money and no help saying it was a local race with no national implications,” a Wisconsin academic said expressing disappointment that President Obama also wuss-ed out on that recall.
“Conversely, the money flowed in from the RNC and the Republican Governors as well as the ‘Koch roaches,’ etc. who framed it as a very important platform and Mitt Romney declared Walker was “his hero.”
Rendell’s book may not make it onto any best-selling list, but this wuss-inflection rampant in American leadership circles is killing this country.
Truth be told, the re-election of President Barack Obama is perhaps more problematic than many of his supporters think due to Obama assuming a wuss role, like constantly caving in to Republicans on Capitol Hill in the name of bipartisanship after the Republican establishment declared ending the Obama presidency its Number One mission.
Linn Washington Jr. is a graduate of the Yale Law Journalism Fellowship Program.