At the risk of appearing sacrilegious, I here employ the phrase used by Pontius Pilate to mock Christ shortly after He had been scourged by his Roman captors. I do so not to compare the person of whom I will here speak with the Redeemer of Israel, but for the same reason Pilate employed the phrase – to mock its intended recipient. Indeed, Ken Bennett, has been anything but a “redeemer” in his accidental-but-potentially pivotal role. In fact, the far more apt comparison would be with the man who misguidedly first uttered the phrase: Pontius Pilate. Behold the man!
The comparisons are significant. Firstly, Pilate did not wish to be in the role in which he found himself. It was thrust upon him by circumstances. He was not a brave man, and he had no desire to step into the breach. Perhaps that could be said of most men, but unlike Pilate and his contemporary Sonoran Secretarial counterpart, true men throughout history have stepped forward and done what needed to be done – in spite of any initial reluctance to do so – either on their part or that of others…perhaps even all others!
As for the Answer from Arizona, having been in on the notorious email chain from its outset, I can attest firsthand that his reluctance was predictable. Some on the feed were optimistic as a result of his willingness to engage, and to take any action at all, but I had little doubt from his responses that it was pure (impure, actually) political posturing. Albeit we continued to supply him with ample documentation from the Hawaii Revised Statutes, state and federal Rules of Evidence, and a September 2000 report by the Federal Government’s own Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (entitled Birth Certificate Fraud) in support of both his right and his responsibility to require proof of eligibility from the State of Hawaii for its obviously-favorite son.
Admiral William F. “Bull” Halsey has famously noted that “There are no great men. Just great challenges which ordinary men, out of necessity, are forced by circumstances to meet.” He might also have noted that those who fail to do so might indeed be considered “ordinary”, but can in no way be considered “great”…or be considered men at all, for that matter.
James Allen, in his classic monograph, As A Man Thinketh, correctly observed that “Circumstances do not make the man. They reveal him to himself.” (He had apparently read the Greek philosopher Epictetus who had observed the same thing some eighteen centuries before.) So neither Pilate the Prefect, nor Bennett the Secretary (somewhat befittingly) can place the blame for their classic failures elsewhere.
Secondly, both Pilate and Bennett sought to wash their hands of their responsibility in their pivotal roles, or at the very least to minimize the significance of their betrayals. Pilate, of course, did so literally, becoming the classic example of any such futile attempt at self-acquittal. In the case of the man who would be Arizona’s next governor, however, it didn’t stop there. The State of Arizona’s CAA (Chief Administrative Assistant) apologized that he’d even had to be involved, or been responsible, for his state’s involvement!
Let’s see if we can sort this out.