OTHER VOICES

Perry comment over the line

Posted Aug. 26, 2011, at 6 p.m.
Last modified Aug. 26, 2011, at 10:24 p.m.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is creating some excitement while making a run for the GOP presidential nomination.

But one comment the governor made recently went a step too far as he shared a view on monetary policy.

Mr. Perry told voters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that it would be “treasonous” if Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke manipulated Fed policy to stimulate the economy before the 2012 presidential election.

Asked by a reporter what he would do about the Federal Reserve, Gov. Perry answered about Mr. Bernanke: “If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I don’t know what y’all would do to him in Iowa, but we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas.”

“I mean, printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history, is almost treacherous, or treasonous, in my opinion,” he added.

Mr. Perry has since clarified the statement, telling CNN: “I am just passionate about the issue and we stand by what we said.”

It is fine to be passionate, but suggesting that pursuing a certain monetary policy would be “treasonous” does not help the poisonous political atmosphere.

We can disagree with Mr. Bernanke’s policies without questioning his patriotism or loyalty to the country.

American leaders need to respect one another in their pursuit of sound governance. Colorful statements do pique people’s interest, but they should instruct and not distort. Treason is a serious charge that does not apply in this context.

The Watertown, Wis., Daily Times (Aug. 23)

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