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Scandal-o-meter

Gov. Sanfrod (R-SC). Not resigned. Hetero  affair.

Sen. Ensign (R-NV). Not resigned. Hetero affair.

Gov. Blagojevich (D-IL). Impeached and removed by Democratic Legislature. Corruption.

Gov. Spitzer (D-NY). Resigned. Hetero hookers.

Sen. Craig (R-ID). Didn’t resign. Homo hookers.

Sen. Vitter (R-LA). Didn’t resign. Hetero hookers.

Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL). Resigned. Homo hookers.

Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA). Resigned. Affair.

Speaker Bob Livingston (R-LA). Resigned. Affair.

Pres. Bill Clinton (D). Impeached by Republican Congress.

My guess is that the Republicans are still so mad that Clinton didn’t resign that their unwillingness to resign in the face of these scandals stems from that. Of course, they don’ see the difference: Clinton never ran on a platform of Holier than thou. He never politicized morality. This was often cited as a failure of his, if not in fact a cause, of his own transgressions. We knew Bill Clinton was a ladies’ man before he was ever elected President.

Just like the coverup is worse than the crime, the hypocrisy is also worse than the crime. Livingston and Gingrich couldn’t lead the opposition against Clinton when they were fucking around too. Spitzer couldn’t be tough on crime when he was breaking the law with hookers. Blagojevich was just nuts—but his own party took him down, no one circled the wagons around him.

I don’t care that Sanford screwed another woman. I don’t even really care that he did so after being a typical Bible thumping southern politician. I don’t really care about him because I don’t live in South Carolina. But if I did live there, I’m not sure I could get past the 4-5 day disappearance. I don’t know if that matters there or not. I’ll just say that now would not be a good time for Arnold to leave California for 4 days without any contact, and that’s all I can really say.

Sanford and the GOP

At least it was with a woman… again. The Republicans continue to become a parody of themselves, like the last seasons of a sitcom grown stale.

Anyhow, at least Spitzer’s wife stood beside him and at least he wasn’t a total pussy at his press conference like Sanford was.

California Unter Alles

Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has bowed out of the gubernatorial election. Smart man. Why would he want the worst job in government? I think this essentially destroys Gavin Newsom’s chances, because he’s not well known in Southern California, and, like Villaraigosa, has a few of his own issues.

I think this makes it a safe bet that Brown wins the primary and the general. The state GOP will be too likely to put forward a too-far-to-the-right candidate because they feel burned by Schwarzenegger. The result will be someone not palatable to most Californians.

Politically, I think this is actually one of the least significant aspects of the 2010 election. If, and only if, there are 2/3 majorities in both chambers of the Legislature, and if, and only if, significant Constitutional reform is undertaken will this situation be timely remedied or recurrences prevented.

Chances are the real tumult will happen in the 2012 elections when the Legislative districts will be redrawn using a new process.

Help Us Obi-Franken, You're Our Only Hope

It sure sounds like health care reform is going to be so watered down that it won’t mean anything. Depending on which of today’s polls you believe, there is either 76% or 83% in favor of a public option. Is there ever that much support on anything? And yet there are only 37 senators on record supporting the public option. There needs to be 50 (it’s a reconciliation bill).

The Minnesota Supreme Court is supposed to rule tomorrow. If this mean Franken gets seated, that may change the dynamics in Washington, because—theoretically—Republicans will lose the power to block anything. If the Dems are smart enough to use that as a stick, then maybe something will get done on health care.

What I can’t understand is what the Dem strategy is here. They will own the bill no matter what. Who cares if it has a single Republican vote? If the Republicans water it down and then vote against it they can have it both ways. Obama will own it too, so he should start to speak up.

Iran

I have always maintained a less than dovish position on Iran. When we invaded Iraq, I lamented that it weakened our ability to deal with the Iranian regime. While I certainly am not in favor of the proposed Israeli strike to “take out” Iran’s nuclear capability (which would be counterproductive and would probably fail anyway), there is no disputing that the Iranian regime supports terrorism and, now, in case it wasn’t plain before, suppresses its own people—violently.

The problem with so much of the anti-Iranian rhetoric, like with much of the crap we spew, is that it doesn’t seem to differentiate between the people who are the problem—in this case, Achmadinejad and the mullahs—and the individual Iranians, who, of course, want a better life.

I don’t know what the US can do, or what we have the credibility to do. I’m sure our Sunni allies don’t mind seeing Iran implode, and I’m sure people in Israel and our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan don’t mind seeing that regime weakened. I sure don’t. But there is an opportunity here to bring about in Iran what we used to talk about in Iraq—democracy. I just don’t think it’s America’s opportunity.

Also, I’m resistant to the cult of personality surrounding Mousavi. He’s better than the current crop. But this is about the people of Iran and their hopes, not any one leader. I wish them the best.