Many people -- especially after Katherine Harris -- would be ashamed to administer the election in a heavy-handedly partisan manner in THE swing state (Ohio in 2004; whomever won Ohio was going to be President) while serving as co-chair of the Committee to Re-elect Bush in that very same state.
So should we consider it progress when Ken Blackwell -- the author of those previous sins -- almost issues something which we could considered a weak apology?
Howie Kurtz -- no lefty favorite he -- characterizes the latest:
This piece in the Cleveland Plain Dealer strikes me as more than just "embarrassing":
"Secretary of State Ken Blackwell made an embarrassing announcement Monday: He accidentally bought stock in Diebold Inc., a voting machine maker that benefited from decisions made by his office.
"In a required filing with the Ohio Ethics Commission, the GOP gubernatorial hopeful said his hefty portfolio included 178 shares of Diebold stock, which sold for a loss.
"'While I was unaware of this stock in my portfolio, its mere presence may be viewed as a conflict,' Blackwell wrote in a letter that accompanies his annual financial disclosure statement."
But it is far from clear that this sleaziness constitutes Blackwell's worst 2006 moment. Consider what happened when Blackwell addressed an organization -- the Ohio Restoration Project -- many believed design in part to benefit his gubernatorial candidacy.
It's founder, Russell Johnson, referenced a "`secular jihad'' to remove prayer, the Ten Commandments and the Bible from public places" and "likened it to Nazi Germany, where church congregations would sing so that they could not hear the passing of trainloads of crying Jews headed for a nearby concentration camp."
Additionally, "[t]oo many Christians lead ``Neville Chamberlain lives,'' Johnson said, referring to the British prime minister who signed a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler.
A picture of Hitler and Chamberlain flashed on the screens."
Did Blackwell protest? Did he say, "that's too extreme?"
Quite the contrary -- he referenced Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.!
Blackwell spoke of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s call to be more than observers. He said Christians must ``define, fortify, help shape, influence the mores'' of the culture.
He said Christians must be on the front line, causing change. They must bring behavior in line with what they say they believe.
Blackwell also criticized the ecumenical group that has challenged the tax status of the Ohio Restoration Project. ``There are political and social forces trying to run God and faith and religion out of the public square,'' he said.
He recalled his father leaving inspirational quotes for him to find. One was from abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who said, ``Those who are whupped easiest are whupped most often.''
Christians should show that they are not going to be whupped, Blackwell said.