One of my favorite “Far Side” cartoons — which I could not find online, dang it — featured a guy reading a large book. The caption read something like “Bob breezes through Chapter 8 of his Veterinary Medicine For Large Animals textbook.” The title of the page was “Treating Ailments Of Horses.” Down the left side of a chart were various illnesses and injuries; on the right side, “Shoot.”
The Don Imus incident reminded me of that cartoon. It seems that the left is a smidgen more “nuanced” than Larson’s veterinary text. When someone commits an egregious sin (usually saying something unpleasant about some protected group), there are only two possible resolutions: the person can resign and/or be removed from their position, or they can enter rehab.
Try it out. Think of someone that your average liberal dislikes. Then look at the times that person has done something that irritates the liberals. The first response — even before the dust settles — is a demand for that person to lose their job.
If I were Karl Rove, I’d keep a file just on the calls for my resignation or firing. Maybe even a little chart on my desk that displays how many times prominent people have called for it. And every time it happens, I’d count it as another affirmation that I’m doing something right.
You know, for the party that traditionally opposes the death penalty, it strikes me as odd that they consider so many things worthy of career capital punishment. Every offense is so great, so egregious, that the only possible satisfactory result is ending that person’s public life.
But, of course, that only applies to certain crimes — and committed by the “right” people.
Dianne Feinstein had to resign from a key Senate committee after it was revealed that she had steered literally billions of federal contracts to companies her husband owned at least a stake in. William Jefferson stashed $90,000 in his freezer, and his refusal to account for it nearly triggered a Constitutional crisis.
Compare those two to Mark Foley who while he was a loathsome, despicable scumbag, never quite broke any laws and did nothing worse than Gerry Studds did — at least Foley waited until the object of his affections was past the age of 19.
There are middle grounds available. Hell, Studds is a perfect example — the House voted to censure him, but didn’t expel him. There are ways short of firings of disciplining or rebuking people who do wrong.
But in this age of politics as blood sport, of Congress’ new zeal for “investigate, charge, convict, then see if there was anything worth investigating in the first place,” I don’t see that happening any time soon.