cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Political campaigns, and some of those individuals who practice that art form, seem to be grasping for thinner and thinner straws. The indictment of Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) seems a good case in point. It is as though someone in the opposition awakened one morning and said, “I wonder how well old Rick would do on the Presidential trail if he were able to be labelled as a felon?” Perry is likely going to be arrested and finger-printed and photographed, and may’ve had all those wonderful experiences by now given a Grand Jury indictment over funding he withheld from the state’s Attorney General, a Democrat, who had demonstrated some lack of judgment involving alcohol.
The never-ending John Doe probes of Governor Walker are another excellent case in point. The political foes who are in positions from which they can launch and control such cases are simply too tempted for one to be able expect they’d guard the use of such powers with no attention paid to pure, and petty, politics.
Each election year seems to bring with it a further degradation of what used to be a noble undertaking, that of serving one’s fellow citizens in an elected position. Today, the declaration of intent to engage in politics too often opens the floodgates to attack by innuendo or worse. Outside money can be deployed without much way of identifying the source of the funds.
We watched the floodtide of funding in the recent race for Milwaukee County Sheriff from sources everywhere but Milwaukee County, except for the supposed contribution of as much as $400,000 from the current County Executive who reportedly is not a big fan of the County Sheriff who was re-elected in spite of that contribution.
We saw the scramble over a congressional seat that hadn’t changed hands in several decades with the outcome still to be decided since the margin of victory stands at some 214 votes today. That race amongst Republicans got a bit edgy with one well-off contestant spending a lot of money for relatively little in return. I suppose such an investment might not be too bad considering that once in the House of Representatives one would need to be imprisoned to get removed. Even having to stand for re-election once every two years is not too bad if you stand an 85%+ chance of keeping the seat for so long as you’re breathing.
The idea that one in politics might be unjustly accused by another simply to take votes away is something that ought to carry with it a very substantial penalty. If that is not the case, there is no way these things will ever be controlled and eliminated.
Without some form of serious penalty, there will simply continue to be more and more serious claims made by people who know better but for whom politics is such a powerful drug that they simply cannot control their baser urges.
Without some form of serious penalty for these bogus attempts, we will continue to see the character and reputations of good people smeared…and then we’ll end up with only not-so-good people running for very important offices.
Then we will truly get what we deserve as the old saying goes.