Pundits have been praising Rep. Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who chairs the House budget committee, for the courage displayed in his 2012 budget proposal. But their definition of "courage" must be different from mine.
In fifth grade my Little League baseball team lost its first five games. Our coach quit. We got a new coach, a 16-year-old named Don Crosby. Don was a great player and should have been on the high school team, but he hadn’t passed enough classes to be eligible. Today he’d probably be diagnosed as having a learning disability, but back then he was just plain out of luck. Don was only four or five years older than we were, but he easily established his authority with us. He made us run lots of laps around the swing set at the far end of the school yard. He told us we were not to talk when he was talking, and when we answered him, we were to say “Yes sir” and “No sir.”