Being human, we tend to think the best of ourselves. We think of ourselves as kind and generous and each of us builds a comforting picture of ourselves in our mind by dwelling on those moments of generosity and kindness revisiting them like a child who returns, each night, to his favorite picture book before going to sleep.

The evidence of our pettiness and selfishness melts away as we continuously edit our mental life stories to conform to our preconceived vision of our highest and best selves. For me, my daily selfish disregard for what my wife thinks of as family priorities evaporate into the atmosphere while I hold onto and enshrine the meager scraps of proof that I am a good husband.

Similarly we think of ourselves as courageous, even though we don’t live in a world which puts our courage to a test very frequently if ever. And yet, being human, we have a lot of faith on our own untested courage.

Take Michael Castle for example. For years he has run under the slogan “We only send one, let’s send our best.”

When I was younger and “bi-partisan” I took his slogan to mean that he was the kind of person who would demonstrate some courage and moral character when in office. I believed that, when tested, Mike Castle would have courage. I believed in Mike Castle’s internal vision of himself and voted for him.

Well, Michael Castle’s courage has been tested and he has failed.

George Bush has posed a daily test to Castle’s courage, which Castle continuously fails. At this point there is no denying that supporting Bush’s war was a mistake. For Castle to continue to deny that mistake and hope that it melts away is cowardly. Mike Castle has failed to be “our best.”

For Mike Castle to continue to ignore Bush’s anti-American approach to his office and his reckless disregard for the legal and moral traditions of this country is cowardly. Mike Castle has failed to honor his oath of office.

It is not “Iraq” on it’s own, nor is it simply “Alberto Gonzales”, but George Bush himself is the moral issue of this genration. Mike Castle has failed to challenge the openly immoral President. Castle has failed and failed and failed.

Mike Castle may continue to enshrine the scraps of proof that he is “our best” but reality can’t be denied. His comforting internal vision of himself must not crowd out the facts. Mike Castle has been tested and has failed.

We only send one – so let’s send our best. I agree.

I don’t know who our best is right now, but I know it is not Mike Castle.

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