I heard it said that if you invite to dinner a man who doesn't believe in traditional morality, you would do well to count your silverware.
The rush to embrace the nomination of Timothy Geithner for treasury secretary (nowadays the second most powerful post in the land) reminds me of hasty decisions I have made in my life for expediency, both hands pressed against my ears and running down the road yelling, "Don't confuse me with the facts!"
The fact is that Mr. Geithner is a tax cheat, a man who "doesn't believe in traditional morality." The alternative interpretation is no less flattering-he is not good with numbers. We can rule that out. My grandmother would have called him a crook, no matter how deft he is with an abacus. The Apostle Paul asked a church in Corinth, in great consternation: "Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers?" We might well ask, "Can it be that there is no one among you 300 million Americans who has not the integrity-intelligence combo required to run the Treasury?
A man named Jotham whose family had been wiped out by an aspiring politician, fashioned a satirical parable about politicians: "The trees once went out to anoint a king over them, and said to the olive tree, 'Reign over us.' But the olive tree said to them, 'Shall I leave my abundance, by which gods and men are honored, and go hold sway over the trees?'" The fig tree and the vine, in turn, declined political office, having other valuable gifts to offer (Judges 9).
But the bramble was happy to accept the nomination.
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