How can one champion "moral values" while simultaneously condoning pre-emptive war, torture, and the rape of fundamental human rights? The Christian Right effortlessly brushes off such paradoxes with complete abandon and a flourish of red, white and blue cognitive dissonance.
A motley cast of characters rule the world
News recently broke that Senator Mike Crapo will not contest his DUI:
Police have said Crapo registered a blood alcohol level of 0.11 percent when he was pulled over early Sunday in the Washington suburb of Alexandria, Va., after running a red light. But a secondary test performed after Crapo was brought to the jailhouse - the one that will be used in court - registered at 0.14, nearly twice the legal limit ... .
The Idaho Statesman goes on to report that the 61-year-old's arrest two days before Christmas stunned colleagues and constituents alike, not only because of his squeaky-clean image but also because the senator, a Mormon, had said previously he abstains from alcohol, in accordance with his church's practices.
While no one will ever mistake Bill Clinton for a leader held up on a Holy Roller pedestal, I am reminded of this book by George Stephanopoulos during this quasi-epic fall of Crapo:
All Too Human is a new-generation political memoir, written from the refreshing perspective of one who got his hands on the levers of awesome power at an early age. At thirty, the author was at Bill Clinton's side during the presidential campaign of 1992, & for the next five years he was rarely more than a step away from the president & his other advisers at every important moment of the first term. What Liar's Poker did to Wall Street, this book will do to politics. It is an irreverent & intimate portrait of how the nation's weighty business is conducted by people whose egos & idiosyncrasies are no sturdier than anyone else's.
I like what reviewer Rebekah Warren said about Stephonapolous book:
Written with the jittery cadence of a bookie, All Too Human is a lively look at the complex and motley cast of characters who rule the world.
Crapo's "arrest two days before Christmas stunned colleagues and constituents alike."
Which brings me to a fundamental question.
Why are we surprised?
Rumours swirled around Larry Craig for years. One day, he got caught. Did it really matter, or was it just fun to knock him off the pedestal?
Disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner is:
... sitting on a $4.5 million campaign war chest — is mulling a bid for citywide office next year and “seriously considering” a mayoral run, multiple sources told The Post.
I hope he wins.
While DUI is a serious crime and perpetrators deserve all the resulting hits that come with it, there is a separate dialogue that needs to be addressed.
The excerpt below, by Nampa, Idaho blogger Amy Larson, speaks to her experience on the editorial board of the Idaho Press Tribune.
I loved going to the Editorial Board meetings on Thursdays. ... The Editor was a savvy, strong woman who knew who she was and offered no excuses. A great role model for me. I observed how she masterfully cut off comments that droned on for too long, changed the subject when necessary, and her overall leadership of the group. I enjoyed the members of the Board, too, how each one of them brought a different perspective to the items of discussion.
We got to meet VIP's, politicians, and other newsmakers. For the most part, I was surprised to find myself unimpressed. One or two politicians stood out here and there, due to their seeming rather genuine, but I thought I would be more wowed by those in the public eye. It was a bit of a let-down. They were ordinary people, just like me. Many of them lost track of their tone when they got overly-passionate about a topic. Some of them talked too much. One very well-known public figure showed up wearing a shirt that looked as if it had been slept in. It being an election year, we were invited to the paper-hosted public forum. This is where I had my eyes opened when it came to how imperfect we all are, with few exceptions. Tempers flared, basic rules were ignored, and the Editor/ Moderator had to quite forcefully demand that a man in the audience sit down and remain silent.
Those on the stand who retained their maturity level made an impact, but they were the minority. I'd always envisioned community leaders as a composed, well-controlled lot. That forum changed my mind.
Nice reflections, Amy.
I guess I've simply outgrown the surprise factor, and have been emotionally past it for a long time.
What expression would you use to describe the people who run the world?