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indulge me a post about politics and the weird people who practice it

January 6th, 2009

Okay, I get that politics probably does not obsess you the way it does me. But hey, you can always crib my idea for school projects. You have my blessing.

Here’s what’s flummoxing me this morning.

Increasingly, it is becoming clear to me that politicians possess some sort of gene—you or I might call it a defect, but hey, let’s not be negative—that allows them, to how shall we put it, block out reality.

Here’s some recent evidence:

Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer is a moral crusader who, turns out, has been visiting thousand dollar an hour prostitutes. He resigns.

Former Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards runs for the nomination, even though he has been having an affair, cheating on his wife, who has cancer, and probably fathering a child from the extramarital relationship. Niiiice.

A moral crusading Republican Senator, Larry Craig, is caught having sex in an airport bathroom with another man, announces his resignation from the Senate. And then doesn’t resign.

Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich attempts to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat to the highest bidder. When caught, is defiant, refuses to step down and then appoints Roland Burris to the seat.

Which leads me to today’s news, which is that Roland Burris, even though he was appointed by a crook, even though Obama has called Blagojevich’s rogue appointment unfortunate, even though the economy is in the tank, we have messes in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East is imploding, even though we have bigger fish to fry, this Burris dude has gone to DC and is  demanding to be confirmed. What is the deal? Are these people all just CRAZY? Do they lack the common sense gene? The shame gene? Is that a political requirement?

Which leads me to the big, scary question. Because if the answer is yes, you must be a little nuts to be in politics, what does that say about my man Obama, who thus far has proven to be the sanest, smartest person I have ever encountered in the world of politics or public life. Every time I second guess that man, he proves me wrong. Every time I ask, why didn’t he do it this way, he shows me the wisdom of why he did it that way.

I suppose that I’ll just have to conclude that Obama is an aberration. A dude named Barack Hussein Obama who became President of the US. A politician who beat out fear on a platform of hope. A black man who won votes in what is still a racist country in places. He’s not crazy. He’s the anomaly. Let’s just pray that he marks a sea change. Because while Roland Burris and Blago and their ilk make for really great Daily Show riffs, it’s starting to get a little too messed up out there for this hijinx.