At the end of the day, the scandals that get our attention are not always the most scandalous, they are the ones that hit closest to home. Sex is easier to get than financial problems (Enron vs. lying about an affair). When Governor Blagojevich tried to sell President-elect Obama’s Senate seat, and probably before, he broke the law. It would have brought front page news regardless of the language he used but the fact that he practically dared law enforcement to listen to his calls and then the fact that he was so over the top in these conversations – does anyone remember Gary Hart’s invitation to the press to follow up and remember how well that worked out? – makes this story really what it is. He is a jerk. It doesn’t take much to connect points a to b here.
Frank Rich wrote a great piece on this in Sunday’s NY Times (look it up). This is comedy. This is not the end of our country. While ‘impeachment fatigue’ (see same NY Times ‘Week in Review’ section) may have prevented hearings against President George Walker Bush et al but there is no question in my mind that they DEFINITELY committed ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.’ The irony of the Bill Clinton legacy may not be that he survived only after his detractors fell but that his successors survived when they should not have.
In the context of war, depression and torture, selling a Senate seat (even on Ebay) is not as bad as it seems right now.
PS. I think Blagojevich should be prosecuted and go to jail AND I think his phone calls were funny. I always think we all need a little perspective, on everything.