Is this the best we can do?

This seems to be the season for stupid people. So many members of Congress have now been caught flagrante delicto that one wonders if it isn’t a secret club initiation. What is it with these men? Not only cannot keep it in their pants, they are just plain stupid thinking they will keep their behavior secret.

Frankly I am unconcerned about their sexual behavior, whether it be bathroom sex, hookers or casual sex while married. Back in the “good old days” the press correctly thought it was none of the public’s business. I say good days because when this behavior was ignored by the press the politician in question didn’t have to lie to anyone but their spouse or playmate.

Of course when the stupidity is compounded by illegality, the press rightfully reports rather than ignores. So it is tough to imagine how Senator Craig or Governor Elliot could proceed as though they were immune to the laws we mortals are expected to conform our behavior to. There is a rich body of psycho-journalism on the topic, so I won’t bother to further clutter the field with my own theories.

John Edwards very possibly not only could have been the Democratic nominee only to be outed during the final campaign but also may have altered the race between Obama and Clinton. To behave that selfishly is unconscionable on a public level and calls into question not merely his ethical sieve but that of the entire election process.

Many of us complain about the way candidates are selected but we are always assured that at least the process vets each person to immunize against a “September surprise.” So was Edwards ignored because he was unelectable to begin with, a sort of sop to a certain sliver of the electorate? Does the party ever check its own candidates or is left to the press – in this case the National Enquirer which appears to have done a better job of it than anyone else?

If we are going to get ‘safe” candidates rather than “unelectables” like Kucinich, then at least do the job right. This process is so completely broken that we just have to come up with a better method. In part this is a reflection of the focus on “character” rather than issues, ironically. With so much emphasis on “who would you want to have a beer with” rather than which candidate will disavow the imperial presidency, which will bring our troops home now, which can bring our budget back into the black, and which can repair our woefully broken infrastructure, we will keep getting mediocre candidates and remain our downward spiral.

If it takes a Constitutional amendment we need to radically disengage politics from money—public financing, public airwaves opened to all candidates, no 527’s or other deep pocket financing, all are needed to right this ship of state. Congress will never make the needed reforms so we need to turn to states such as California to get the Constitutional ball rolling.

A lot more men and women with less than stellar pasts would be much better than the current crop of lying thieves.