Commentary on Alabama Law and Society

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Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Monday, May 15, 2006

Even A Blind Hog Occasionally Finds An Acorn

The B'ham News has this story:

Republican candidates running for Jefferson County Commission have been asked to sign a pledge to vote only for a Republican candidate for commission president.

County Republicans want to remove Larry Langford from his leadership position and undo some of the initiatives he has pushed in recent years, including a 1 cent sales tax for school construction.

I certainly admire the goal of the pledge. But I have to agree with Langford, when he questions the wisdom of swearing loyalty to an unknown candidate:

"Even if we knew the person was a certified, card-carrying idiot, they would still support them because the party mandates it," Langford said. "If I were the Republican Party, I wouldn't want the world to know that I stooped to that level."

These types of pledges can cause a lot of trouble. If the eventual candidate is not the best qualified for the job, then the pledge signer has to either betray his pledge or vote against the best interests of the community. Thus, it is best to wait and make a decision after all the facts are available.

Of course Langford himself almost guarantees that dilemma won't arise in this situation. It would be tough to find anyone who is a bigger idiot than he is.