They said it
Despite fending off conservative detractors in a manner that made me feel like Neo in the Matrix (start the video at 3:00 to get my drift), I had time to ponder what was said or written over the past week that shouldn't be overlooked or forgotten.
It was mea culpa time in America. Golfing great Tiger Woods apologized to family, friends, the world and anyone else who cared whether he picked up women who weren't his wife with the same ease as he picks up a 9-iron.
The issue here is that I cheated, I am the only person to blame. I stopped living according to my core values. I knew what i was doing was wrong but thought only about myself and thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to, I felt I was entitled. I had worked hard. Money and fame made me believe I was entitled. I was wrong and foolish. I don’t get to live by different rules. The same boundaries that apply to everyone apply to me.
Disgraced former New York City police commissioner Bernie Kerik got hit with more jail time than prosecutors recommended. But before he headed to the clink, Kerik spoke with New York Post columnist Cindy Adams about what drove him to break the law:
"I guess ... hubris. Maybe I got involved in my own celebrity. In that position of power, you lose sight of things you shouldn't be doing. It's ... arrogance. You get caught in that power. In that high a position, you almost think above the law. You don't focus. You don't think things through until it hits you.
It all sounds so familiar. Oh, yeah, former senator and 2004 vice presidential nominee John Edwards explaining in 2008 why he had the affair with Rielle Hunter.
"I went from being a senator, a young senator to being considered for vice president, running for president, being a vice presidential candidate and becoming a national public figure. All of which fed a self-focus, an egotism, a narcissism that leads you to believe that you can do whatever you want. You're invincible. And there will be no consequences."
True, until you lose your sponsorships or your freedom or your soul -- assuming you had one. Edwards, who long denied paternity of Quinn Hunter, finally acknowledged his daughter on the eve of former aide Andrew Young's gross accounting of Edwards's moral corruption last month.
Thomas Friedman of the New York Times on the consequences of the recent challenges to climate science:
I suspect China is quietly laughing at us right now. And Iran, Russia, Venezuela and the whole OPEC gang are high-fiving each other. Nothing better serves their interests than to see Americans becoming confused about climate change, and, therefore, less inclined to move toward clean-tech and, therefore, more certain to remain addicted to oil. Yes, sir, it is morning in Saudi Arabia.
The Post's Michael Gerson sounds the alarm on the extremes of the tea party movement:
This is not 1776, in which the avenues of representation were blocked by a distant power. Those who take the revolutionary metaphor too literally are not engaged in politics, they are engaged in sedition. The Obama administration proposes to expand government; it is not preparing to overthrow the government. At this point, it does not even seem competent enough to engage in conspiracy. The Federal Reserve, by the way, just helped to prevent a depression by increasing the money supply. It deserves a little thanks.
The reform of Social Security and Medicare is a fiscal necessity; the abolition of Social Security and Medicare would be an act of cruelty. Immigrants are not a bacillus; they are a source of values and vitality. And if they are not a source of future Republican votes, conservatives will be voted into obscurity.
And there was more good advice for President Obama from The Post's Steven Pearlstein:
For the next several months, he needs to create a sense of urgency and expectation, consulting widely and privately with Republicans and Democrats and interested parties who care more about getting things done than winning the next election. Based on those conversations and his own sense of what the public will accept, he needs to put forward a set of compromise proposals on jobs, health care, financial reform and the budget. And then he needs to park himself in the President's Room at the Capitol, along with top aides and Cabinet members, and refuse to leave until he has put together working majorities for each proposal -- with the help of legislative leaders if possible, but without them if necessary.
By July 4, it will be over. He will have either a legislative record that ensures continuation of a working majority in Congress or a legitimate grievance that he can take to the voters in November in search of one. Either way, he'll be in a better place politically than he is now.
| February 21, 2010; 12:14 PM ET
Categories: Capehart | Tags: Jonathan Capehart
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