Be careful what you wish for


It seems to me that those old adages I first heard years ago keep popping up in my head. Mom was a great one for coming up with a saying for almost every occasion. I’ll never forget the one she used to kinda smooth things over when someone belched or passed gas, “It’s better out than in.”

Anyway, among her often repeated words of advice to us youngsters was, “Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.” I have to admit I didn’t understand what she meant back then but that expression has stuck in my memory box and resurfaces every so often – as it has recently. Yep, a couple of events have triggered those words of wisdom.

For some time various members of Congress have been complaining about the leadership of Speaker of the House John Boehner and the whispers that he “has to go” became louder and louder. The most shrill outcries have come from within his own party as recently-elected right wing House members have criticized Mr. Boehner for his willingness to compromise with the White House and Democrats on some issues. Well, as we know, Mr. Boehner suddenly and unexpectedly announced his resignation as Speaker and from the House Of Representatives. Yep, those folks who desired his departure have gotten their wish – but what happens now?

During his tenure as Speaker Mr Boehner has been remarkably successful in keeping members of his party working together considering its increasingly factional divisions. One wag likened his job to “herding cats” – a difficult task with so many individuals and factions each wanting to go off in their own direction. Well, the job of “cat-herding” will remain the primary function of the new Speaker regardless of how the Republican Caucus fills positions in the inevitable House reorganization triggered by the election of a new Speaker. The big question, however, is: will Mr. Boehner’s departure further the cause of his antagonists or will they regret getting their wish as turmoil and disorder take toll of their already fractured party?

OK, moving on to another “Be careful what you wish for” incident. A recent newspaper story told of how some person or persons did some rather extensive research into the background of a candidate for election to the Xenia city council. The results of this research was delivered anonymously to the newspaper office, the candidate, and the current president of the city council. Contained in this packet of information about the candidate was his history of drug and gun charges, failure to pay city income tax, and jail time.

Furthermore, the story referred to a Facebook post, later deleted, that said, “[it would be] the wise thing to do and in the best interest of the community” if a particular candidate withdrew from the race for city council to avoid “unnecessary turmoil”. That’s pretty blunt, wouldn’t you say?

According to the newspaper story, two members of the Xenia City Council, also on the upcoming ballot, brought this same information to the City Manager, the Law Director, the Finance Director, and to other members of the city council. Sure sounds like whoever was behind this effort wanted everyone to know the history of this individual, right? Well, they sure enough were successful.

This candidate for the Xenia City Council, Dr Edgar Wallace, pastor of the First United Christian Church, was not well known until this incident gave him the opportunity to share his story. He has freely and openly acknowledged his past including his nearly six months in jail saying, , “When I was released on May 14, 1988, I was a better man for what I had experienced, even though it was so painful.”

Indeed, according to the newspaper story, “Upon leaving jail Wallace said he was a changed man. He received an MBA, a DMin, and is a licensed social worker and chemical dependency counselor.” Dr Wallace is currently involved with other pastors in a project to create, “… a one-stop shop for people in need of various services such as drug counseling and shelter.” Hey, that’s quite an impressive record of a man who turned his life around some thirty years ago, wouldn’t you say?

You know, the results of this little caper are likely not what those behind it expected – free, positive publicity (including a TV interview) for Dr Wallace. Furthermore, this episode sure leaves a bunch of folks wondering if it wasn’t a “dirty tricks smear campaign” to force him out of city council race. If it was, it sure backfired.

Ok. there you have it – two instances of folks getting what they wished for and quite probably regretting it. Well, no matter how these episodes eventually turn out one thing’s for sure – Mom was right again. At least that’s how it seems to me.

By Bill Taylor

Bill Taylor is a Greene County Daily columnist and area resident, may be contacted at [email protected].

No posts to display