So former President George H.W. Bush is courageous because he raised taxes.
Tell me the last time anyone was considered courageous for lowering them?
But that's what got the senior Bush, a John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.
Hiking taxes. That was brave.
Not surviving two brushes with death as a World War II fighter pilot.
Not leading a massive coalition against Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War.
No, raising taxes.
Even if you give Bush the nod for doing the right thing, is it me or did the JFK Library folks leave out something?
Like how Democrats pulled a fast one on him, and didn't end up cutting the spending they promised?
That they sucker-punched him? And politically doomed him?
No, they get a pass. And a pretty impressive president gets a silly award.
For hiking taxes in the name of compromise? When the other side refused to do its part of the compromise?
Let me see if I've got this straight hiking taxes makes you brave. Cutting them makes you a coward?
By that definition, JFK himself might not win an award established in his honor because he cut taxes against the wishes of his own party.
It's weird what constitutes as courage these days.
Courageous if you're this year's fellow recipient, former Uvalda, Georgia Mayor Paul Bridges, and you get voted out of office for speaking out against a law that aimed to expose undocumented immigrants in his state.
But no such honor for Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, if you're trying to round up illegals in your state.
No, the sheriff gets lawsuits and grief.
The former mayor gets wined and dined.
I'm not saying the former president and former mayor aren't good men.
But the things for which they're being recognized does make me question the good sense of the folks honoring these men.
They just have a very different definition of brave than I do.
Fighter Pilot George Bush Sr., getting shot down by the Japanese and then suiting up again to fight them again, to me, that's brave.
President Bush hiking taxes under the mistaken but honorable notion the other side will have your back to me, not so brave.
Because cutting spending will never win you a Profile in Courage.
But making sure you never cut spending just could win you a Profile in Courage Award.
Somewhere JFK himself must be spinning in his grave.
Because when it comes to bravery, I suspect even he would be saying to his heirs don't know "jack."