FITS' Leadership Post II - Just the Merits
Although on the opposite side of the nation's bloodiest conflict from the subject of FITS' first leadership post, Abraham Lincoln, Confederate States of America (C.S.A.) President Jefferson Davis was also in possession of numerous qualities which, much like Lincoln, have elevated him to a position of prominence in history.
Seldom personable in his interaction with fellow politicians, Davis was derided by many of his colleauges in Washington D.C. (and later in Richmond, Va.) as distant and unfeeling. One such colleauge famously described the first and only President of the Confederacy as "cold as a serpent and ambitious as Lucifer." Notoriously uncompromising in his virtue, Davis often riled those in power by eschewing the pork barrel tradeoffs so common in politics from time immemorial.
On one such occasion, prior to heeding the secession call of his native Mississippi, Davis asked a fellow Senator to support an appropriation for his home state. The Senator replied by asking Davis if he would consider trading him his support for an unrelated appropriation in his home state.
In all its glory, not to mention its unmistakable relevance to today's South Carolina General Assembly, here was Davis' response:
“Sir, I make no terms. I accept no compromises. If when I ask for an appropriation, the object shall be shown to be proper and the expenditure constitutional, I defy the gentleman, for his conscience’ sake, to vote against it. If it shall appear to him otherwise, then I expect his opposition, and only ask that it shall be directly, fairly and openly exerted. The case shall be presented on its single merit, on that I wish it to stand or fall.”
Good luck teaching the vast majority of elected officials in South Carolina that kind of resolve conducting the people's business.