"When they allow a talk show host to play them like a two-dollar banjo, they demonstrate what kind of backbone they'll bring to the job later on, if we elect them. After they get elected will they continue to allow Jeff Crank to put a nickel in them and wind them up every Saturday morning?"

Barry Noreen, former columnist, Colorado Springs Gazette

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

THE STRAIGHT AND THE CROOKED


By

ROBERT HARKINS

Shame is dead. Former President Bill Clinton wounded it nearly unto death. But John Edwards and Congressman Anthony Weiner gave shame the deathblow

In a Machiavellian tour de force, former President Bill Clinton, secure in the bosom of a leftist party and media, returned to success and approbation despite his ruination of Ms. Monica Lewinsky a once congressional page entrusted to his care. Congressional pages, because they are young, impressionable and vulnerable, are entrusted to the Congress or Executive In Loco Parentis, (in place of the parents). Clinton should have treated Ms. Lewinski as if he were her father and not as a pushover for oral intercourse.

He breached that trust in a series of Oval Office trysts, in which the president, conceivably the most powerful man on earth, was able to use and discard Ms. Lewinsky. Had he not soiled her dress with presidential seed he would have continued to deny the spectacle of his perversion of a young woman entrusted to his care.

It used to be that a politician found out as a villain fled public life out of a shame too great to bear. Why then does America still listen to Clinton? His face is in the news every day. He postulates as if he were a Greek Oracle on America and the world. Indeed, it appears that no act however shameful and no lie however pernicious will end the political life of an American Leftist. Somehow, Clinton has rehabilitated himself to an American people, so much so, that he may never go away.

The American politician has developed an arsenal of tactics calculated to preserve the illusion of political “integrity” when his crookedness is laid bare. The main tactic, however, is old as Methuselah. It is the lie.

John Edwards, former presidential contender, his hair magnificently quaffed, looked sincerely into the camera and stated repeatedly that he had not had an affair with a political camp follower even as his wife lay dying of cancer. The lie discovered, he admitted, without blinking, a brief affair, looked again sincerely into the camera and denied that he was the father of a child conceived out of his act of adultery and dissimulation. That lie discovered Edwards was still able to look sincerely into the camera to admit that the child was his.

Edwards now stands indicted upon several counts of federal campaign finance laws. During the course of his campaign, he accepted nearly a million dollars in political donations and used that money to grace the life of his paramour with an opulence sufficient to keep her happy, placated, out of the way—and silent. He now claims that he did not know the million dollars donated during a political campaign were political donations. Indeed, in his naivety he says that he believed the million dollars were a personal gift and well… so it goes. Should Edwards beat the indictment—stranger things have happened in American politics—Edwards will then consider himself, as does Clinton, fully exonerated; and so perhaps may millions of Americans.

Congressman Anthony Weiner allegedly emailed, along with a number of promiscuous suggestions, a picture portraying his genitalia to a number of young women, including perhaps at least one woman only seventeen years of age. Rumor has it that Congressman Anthony Weiner counseled with former President Bill Clinton to perfect the tactics of skullduggery and vindication. But columnist Dennis Prager in a telling impeachment of democratic efforts to exonerate Weiner suggested this: What would the members of Congress do were Weiner to enter the House of Representatives wearing only his underwear. After all, it isn’t illegal to go about in one’s underwear; it is not sex, is personally expressive; and who are we to say that Weiner’s conduct demands moral condemnation?[1] Besides, America has become—as she declines politically, morally and economically, a “non-judgmental” society. Indeed, Leftists believe that they are virtuous precisely because they are non-judgmental. In fact, the philosophy of non-judgmentalism has abolished every vice. It has created a nation wherein every human being is absolutely virtuous—no matter what he does. After all, who are we to judge?

Character, however, will not be denied. Congressman Weiner, in a tearful, sincere and excruciating confession accepted full responsibility even as he informed everyone willing to listen that he would not resign. After all, he has the peoples’ work to do. His confession, however, was not quite candid. Although he apologized to all, in a candid tempest of misery and tears, out of compassion for his wife, and the country he has betrayed, somehow he forgot to disclose conduct so completely vile that in comparison, his voyeurism seems merely pathetic.

Following his confession, a professional porn star informed the world that Congressman Weiner asked her to lie to the press about their relationship. To that end Congressman Weiner coached the porn star in the finer points of mendacity and actually drafted a statement, a lie in fact, exonerating him of wrongdoing. He offered the porn star the assistance of his staff—whose salaries are paid by the American taxpayer— to aid her in the arts of political deceit. Of course, he asked her to read the stuff he wrote to the media.[2]

On June 1, Weiner reportedly instructed Lee on the best way to stonewall reporters who were contacting her with questions, TMZ said. "The key is to have a short, thought out statement that tackles the top line questions and then refer people back to it. Have a couple of iterations of: 'This is silly. Like so many others, I follow Rep. Weiner on Twitter. I don't know him and have never met him. He briefly followed me and sent me a dm saying thank you for the follow. That's it.’”…

The next day, Weiner sent Lee this statement to hand out to the press, according to TMZ: "I have nothing to do with the situation involving Rep Weiner. I follow his twitter feed. And for a brief time he followed me. Much has been made of the fact that I have posted about my admiration for Rep Weiner and his politics. All I can say about that is that I'm a fan of his. Rep. Weiner sent me one short direct message thanking me for following him. I have never met Rep. Weiner and he has never sent me anything inappropriate (sic) ..."

Weiner has now announced that he is going to submit to a course of treatment—as if he were suffering from small pox rather than crookedness—and, presumably, no surprise here—will shortly return to his job doubtless cured of his malady and therefore rehabilitated to the people. Who could possibly criticize a man afflicted with sickness who courageously seeks psychological care so that he may be restored to health?

But how does one cure a liar of his lies, or a crook of his crookedness? By what incantation will a psychologist straighten his character? A crooked character is not a disease to be cured. Good character is acquired slowly by practice, dedication, courage and discipline, through struggle, failure and success. Good character cannot be bought. It is nowhere for sale. And it cannot for long be faked.



[1] Dennis Prager, “What Weiner did was worse than an affair,” Town Hall.com, 6.14.11

[2]Weiner told porn actress pal to lie, offered PR advice”: report New York Post June 7.2011http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/weiner_told_porn_actress_pal_report_mChJ01vH6L5hMSU8eWJwpN#ixzz1P7

1 comment:

  1. A good and well written column Lady Burke. Whether it be the Amish, Christian, Jewish or Buddhist faith to name a few, the thing held in common is an experience of "sacredness," a sentient presence that is as certain as it is exquisite, a sense of integration into an experience that runs so deep in the soul it connects us one to the other and to this sacredness. Some call it God, others Yaweh; the Buddha referred to it as the ground of being, a place beyond birth and death, indeed, beyond time itself.

    We are in decline because too many have lost sight of this sacredness, or denied the fact of its existence or in an act of pitiful arrogance (hubris) sought to place themselves above the gods. In such abandonment is spiritual and cultural drift and decay; and a lurid downward path in which the virtuous become ordinary, and the ordinary, mean and the mean, human predators.

    It is a process that unfolds of its own accord and which, at a certain point become irreversible. What then is the individual to do. Well, I think, the only person over whom we have potential control is ourselves. Shakespeare said it best.

    "First to thine own self be true and it follows as day the night,thou can be false to know man."

    One must approach this rule with deep humility this, because the path is fraught with failure and discouragement. Still, it is the only game in time.

    Thank you for your thoughts. Robert

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