4 - Friday, January 7, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycam
4 - Friday, January 7, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
STEPHANIE STEINBERG and EMILY ORLEY KYLE SWANSON
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Taking care of business
Snyder needs to turn his promises into realities
he self-proclaimed "nerd" is now officially at the helm of
the state government. On Jan. 1, Republican Rick Snyder
was inaugurated as Michigan's governor. His inaugural
speech focused on his plans for the state's overhaul and his belief
that "it's time to start a new era." While the governor's words sound
good, the state needs more than encouraging rhetoric. Rebuilding
Michigan is going to take more than the efforts of one man, and
Snyder needs to maintain the bipartisan ideals that characterized
his campaign. Snyder must follow through on his campaign prom-
ises and ensure he delivers results for Michigan.
Where we cannot find common ground, we must
stand our ground."
- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at a ceremony honoring the Black Congressional Caucus on
Wednesday, as reported by USA Today.
E-MAIL JEFF AT JEFFDZ@UMICH.EDU
So, any New Year's resolutions Except this year, I'm serioussabout it!
for2 7 EI I've written a note onall myfriends Nsmorewasinglhoursmessing
;Ye I This year I've ti Facebook walsabout it, and Ive spent /around ontheinternetl Framno
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Merry Christmas to Jew
Last Saturday, Rick Snyder was sworn in
as the state's 48th governor. The ceremony
took place on the Capitol steps in Lansing,
:with nearly 1,000 residents in attendance lis-
tening to the new governor speak about his
plans for revitalizing Michigan. Snyder laid
out his objectives, which include the diversi-
fication of Michigan's economy, job creation,
a secure and better future for Michigan's
youth and ensuring that no citizen is left
behind in the revamping process.
Snyder's speech brings hope to a state
with insurmountable problems. But the real-
ity is that nothing will get better for Michi-
gan until its economy is stable. Snyder, who
will go to work with a Republican controlled
state House and Senate, must focus on cre-
ating jobs and developing emerging markets
that are able to supplement and ultimately
replace Michigan's declining auto industry.
In his inauguration speech, Snyder said that
"today (is) the birth of the era of innovation
and the reinvention of Michigan." He must
act on these words by fostering an environ-
ment that grows new knowledge-based
industries such as the green energy and bio-
To accomplish this reinvention, Snyder
must move beyond party politics and petty
political banter. Throughout his campaign,
he reiterated the importance of bipartisan-
ship. Snyder even appointed a Democratic
treasurer and a Republican adviser to his
staff four days after the election. But Snyder
needs to ensure that he is listening to both
sides when determining legislation. And
though Michigan is traditionally a blue state,
lawmakers and citizens alike must realize
that the state needs a fresh start and must
trust this politically diverse administration.
The economy is on the forefront of near-
ly every Michigan residents' mind, but
it can't be the only policy addressed dur-
ing Snyder's term. Social issues shouldn't
completely take a backseat to economic
concerns. Michigan is a state where pub-
lic education is faltering, gay rights issues
have been largely unaddressed and envi-
ronmental concerns often go unnoticed.
And the constant struggle to clarify the
state's medicinal marijuana law is an ongo-
ing issue. Progressive ideologies, in addi-
tion to a strong economy, will begin to
draw people back to the state and should
be among Snyder's priorities.
Michigan desperately needs to be revi-
talized. If Governor Snyder stays true to
his word, the state's outlook will be much
brighter than in year's past. But for this to
happen, Snyder needs to focus on creating
a successful bipartisan environment and a
healthy state economy.
P olitical correctness dictates I was safe. Hanukkah had been over
that we use a standardized for weeks, and these folks were ship-
"Happy Holidays" in lieu of a ping gifts. Merry Christmas. Instead,
denominational I got a tongue-lashing from a Jew who
winter greeting. invoked Jesus to teach me a lesson
Let me begin about religious deference.
by acknowledg- He only used "for Christ's sake" for
ing that the con- emphasis. It's a common phrase that
troversy over this seldom carries its literal connotation
habit was primar- or weight.
ily invented by the But that's no different from my
righteous cable saying "Merry Christmas" - I most
TV talking heads. certainly didn't mean "May you recog-
It doesn't matter nize the glory of your Lord and Savior
nearly as much as Jesus Christ and devote the entirety
any of them would AARONSON of your being to commemorating His
have you think. It's birth and His death for you, the sorry
almost a non-issue. human sinner whose existence on this
Almost. I'll also acknowledge that, earth is entirely owed to His sacrifice
nearly two weeks after Christmas, and whose fate in the afterlife lies in
this could not be less timely. Regard- the balance of His judgement."
less, I'm inclined to weigh in. No. What I really meant was, "I
In high school, I worked part time at hope you get to relax, spend time with
a local pack-and-ship store. One late- family and enjoy some good food." I
December night, I finished ringing up really did. And I'm sure that's what
one harried middle-aged couple, stuck happened.
my hand out with their receipt and As I shared the story with others,
said, "Merry Christmas." I learned that this response was rela-
Her face turned sour. He gave her tively common, though perhaps not to
what could only be a "don't get into it" the same extreme. There are .people
look. But she did, indeed, get into it. who are actually offended by well-
"We're Jewish," she said, cocking wishing, if it's not the precise senti-
her head and putting a hand on her ment that suits howthey worship.
hip, pausing thereto make sure itcsunk Store clerks shouldn't have to worry
in with me. that their extension of warmth might
He leaned in to snatch the receipt put someone off, and cab drivers
from me, adding: "For Christ's sake, shouldn't have to offer the transpar-
you know, you can avoid offending ently diplomatic "Happy Holidays" to
anyone by just keeping it to 'Happy ensure that they get tipped.
Holidays."' I'm not hung up on it the way Bill
That's right, for Christ's sake, don't O'Reilly, for instance, is. His disdain
wish us a Merry Christmas. for "Happy Holidays" stems from a
As the son of a Jewish man and a bizarre persecution complex and a
Catholic woman, raised in the church longing for some fictitious, idealized
but comfortable with the cultural "way things used tobe in this country."
sensibilities of both sides, I reasoned As O'Reilly or Sean Hannity would tell
you, this is a Christian country, and
they're not about to let the PC Police
take that away by bastardizing"Merry
Instead, I just don't think Christ
mas - Bible Christmas - has much to
do with it.
Christmas is asecularholiday in the
United States. American children, in
their most impressionable years, sub-
mit to the canon of Santa Claus before
they know or understand who Jesus
Christ is, or the concept of a Christian
God. It's the omniscient Santa Claus
who "knows when you are sleeping ...
knows when you're awake ... knows
when you've been bad or good." It's
Santa with his gifts, not Jesus with
his promise of eternal salvation, who
guides Christian childhood morality
Americans spend more and more each
year on Christmas, while fewer iden-
tify as Christians and even fewer regu-
larly attend services.
now lack religious
To say "Merry Christmas" isn't
to assume that everyone shares
the same worldview, and it's not an
underhanded assertion of the supe-
riority of that worldview. It would be
nice if all involved parties could take
"Merry Christmas" for what it is: a
nice thing to say to another person.
- Matt Aaronson was the Daily's
managing editor in 2010. He can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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SEND LETTERS To: TOTHEDAILY@MICHIGANDAILY.COM
:Fans shouldn't worry about
finding a 'Michigan Man"
Michigan football. Those of you who didn't, not
only did you not support Michigan football, but
you also crippled its foundation. It's important
to have your own ideas, and you should hold
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Aida Ali, Will Butler, Eaghan Davis, Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshammer,
Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley, Harsha Panduranga,
Teddy Papes, Roger Sauerhaft;Seth Soderborg, Andrew Weiner
TO THE DAILY: onto them, but sup
Michigan, support your coach. I'm sick of
all the misguided conclusions toward Rodri- Chad Paulinski
guez's failings and the erroneous ideology of Engineeringsenior
the "Michigan Man." To all of the people who
attacked Rodriguez from the start: You actively C s of 2
helped to destroy Michigan footba lass
Nearly everyone is eager to point out the
statistics: losing records to rivals, extremely .
low defense rankings, missed bowl games, etc.
Those aren't pleasing statistics. The things TO THE DAILY:
considered most involved in obtaining those The University
statistics are what people are blaming Rodri- Bowl defeat at the
:guez for: neglecting defense and special teams, which appears to
not recruiting well enough or the right players coach Rich Rodrig
and not winning games, among others. These seasons, was a lous
problems fall partially on the fan base itself. fan to ring in the I
From the very beginning, the Michigan fan special significanc
base was torn in half because of the new system in this outgoing cl
- not having a "Michigan Man" coach and losing like Obi Ezeh, Step
tradition. College football changes, and it's up to dros and Martell M
the coaches, players and the fan base to adapt. part of the fifth-st
Michigan used to run the wishbone offense against the Buckey
before going to a pro set. Offenses change, but now become the fi.
it's still the same game. The Michigan Man ide- of just a handful is
ology has to be changed. The man who coined late a losing record
it, Bo Schembechler, only had affiliation toward Arbor - quite ad
-Michigan as the "enemy," Ohio State. A Michi- ball's winningest p
gan Man (or Woman) is someone who represents Bookended by S
the University at the highest level, not just some- cle on one end an
one who attended the University. ner against Appal
I won'tstopyou from arguingthat NCAA vio- the class of 2011 h
lations do not represent the University at high- record. Students w
est level. I admit it; I'm not a fan of Rodriguez. I the ones who silen
thought that he didn't mold the Michigan talent dorm rooms from
to its potential and that he didn't adjust his sys- state of acute disqu
tem to the players' strengths. Support, however, game on Sep. 1, 200
for a coach is so incredibly crucial; it affects in 46 years to chee:
recruiting, mindset and the morale of both the wins. Most of us
coaches and the 18 to 22 year olds on the field - possible three or ft
thus the entire structure of the team. That's not to si
In a Sports Illustrated College Football Pre- memories from th
view article, an overwhelming majority of Big gan football. Beati
Ten players - 55 percent - said they would and Florida in Mi
want to play at Michigan the least because of the Carr's final game,
coaching situation. The biggest problem I think sin in 2008 in an e
Michigan football had was attrition (players Notre Dame three
leaving) and depth. To plug these holes, college more quarterback
football teams need to recruit strongly, but no sion have been unf
one wants to come to the University when half to be part of the fir
the fan base hates the coach, and they may not with a losing footb
-play for the same coach during theirtenure. I'm we'll be the last.
not saying it could have worked out. I'm say-
ing that I support Michigan's coach even if I William Petrich
-have my reasons against him because I support LSA senior
port your team.
911 has had the
fears of football
of Michigan's 52-14 Gator
hands of Mississippi State,
have cost former football
Suez his job after only three
sy way for every Wolverines
New Year. But the loss holds
ce for players and students
ass of 2011. Football players
phen Schilling, Mark Moun-
ebb are more than merely a
raight senior class to go 0-4
yes. More strikingly, they've
rst class since 1964, and one
n school history, to accumu-
over their four years in Ann
distinction for college foot-
aturday's Gator Bowl deba-
A that still-fresh 2007 stun:
lachian State on the other,
has compiled a 24-26 losing
-ho started school in 2007 -
tly walked back to their new
the Big House in a stunned
aiet after their first Michigan
7 - are part of the first class
r on Blue to more losses than
wouldn't have thought that
our years ago.
ay there haven't been great
e past four years of Michi-
ng quarterback Tim Tebow
chigan football coach Lloyd
shocking top-five Wiscon-
pic comeback, beating hated
times and watching sopho-
Denard Robinson's ascen-
forgettable. So I'm not bitter
st Michigan class in 46 years
all record - I just hope that
WILL BUTLER I
On New Year's Day, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder was
inaugurated as the 48th governor of Michigan. An appro-
priate ceremony for the day, many declared that inaugura-
tion not only begins a new year with a new governor, but
also dawns a new era for Michigan. Editorials from across
the state describe a sense of hope for the future for Sny-
der's ambitious goals of bipartisanship and for an end to the
"business as usual" corruption in Lansing. Bill Schuette, the
new attorney general for the Snyder administration, had the
confidence to proclaim that it's "morning in Michigan." He
continued to add, "There are better days ahead for Michi-
gan." Being a "nerd" himself, Snyder might appreciate this
analog. The scene at the inauguration looked a lot like the
Ewok celebration at the end of "Return of the Jedi": the
defeatof the evil Darth Granholm and a new era of freedom
with Rick Skywalker.
The inauguration, the campaign and the support all
remind me of another formerly-beloved politician: Presi-
dent Barack Obama. Whether Snyder would admit it or not,
so much of his campaign was based off hope and change- a
positive campaign to bring in independents and build bipar-
tisanship- exactly like Obama. But as more and more on
the left become disappointed with the president, Snyder's
supporters may want to heed this warning: Your candidate
is not a Messiah, he is not a superman and he will not fix
everything. He is a politician. At best, he will be a good one.
At worst, he will be a bad one.
This is exactly what happened to Obama. Everyone
became so enthralled during the campaign. They became
enamored with the rhetoric. The left is always looking for
their messianic figure, their progressive savior, and many
thought they found him with Obama. But as political real-
ities set in and some political losses occurred, supporters
became low on morale and lost motivation and energy.
As a strongly-committed Democrat, I still fully support
Obama and intend to help him get re-elected. However,
I never bought into the myth. I supported him because
he was my party's candidate and because his legislative
ambitions and policies were most similar to mine. How-
ever, many supporters were not able to stick with the
president when times got tough, and they realized he was,
in fact, just a politician.
Snyder most likely shares the same fate. He's in his hon-
eymoon phase.-He has done little politically, givingthe pub-
lic no reason to dislike him. But once he must start making
difficult decisions about the future of this state, decisions
that some may dislike, supporters will fall out of love and
lose faith in the Snyder fairy tale. This is especially true
when it comes to Snyder's claims that he will fight corrup-
tion in Lansing. This is a wonderful campaign promise, but
while he tries to accomplish his legislative goals, he may be
tempted to indulge in them.
It's not that Snyder might not be successful in passing
his agenda. Even as a Democrat I recognize his intelligence
and competence. But Obama isn't a failure either. He passed
health care reform - something Democrats and progres-
sives have been trying to accomplish for more than 50 years
- financial reform, ratified the Strategic Arms Reduction
Treaty (START) and even repealed "don't ask, don't tell".
But all this didn't stop people from losing their messianic
image of Obama. The same process will likely occur for Sny-
der. There is a reason why they stopped the Star Wars mov-
ies at the Ewok celebration, and it's because that way you
always saw Luke Skywalker, you never saw him fail. Unfor-
tunately, Rick Snyder's career didn't stop at his inauguration
Will Butler is an LSA sophomore.
The Daily is looking for a diverse group of strong, informed, passionate
writers to be columnists for the winter semester. Columnists write a
700-800 word column every other week on a topic of their choosing.
If you are an opinionated and talented writer, consider applying.
E-MAIL MICHELLE DEWITT AT DEWITTM@MICHIGANDAILY.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION.