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Photographs, Fear-mongering and Flubs

Representative Anthony Weiner engaged in acts of an unseemly nature. Although I have not seen all of the images, I have heard that in one of them, he demonstrated his impression of the Washington Monument although it was much smaller than scale. It appeared that he was flirting provocatively with women approximately half his age. Perhaps his racy photographs and sexually provocative conversations are rooted in a mid-life crisis or merely part of a pattern of narcissism common among career politicians. His practices seem creepy, if not, bordering on adulterous and pornographic. He compounded his foolish behavior by lying about what he had done. He may have to face legal consequences for using government-owned equipment.He will also face questions about his franking privilege with no connection to sending mail to his district.

For a Congressman who craves time in front of cameras doing interviews and press conferences as much as a rutting rabbit desires receptive mates, one would think that he would have had his fill of appearing in the public eye. Perhaps, he assumed that his dalliances on Twitter would never become public. Maybe he is just obsessed with photographic devices. Does the Betty Ford Clinic offer treatment for that addiction?

Weiner is rebuffing calls for his resignation. Obviously, he enjoys the prestige of serving in Congress. In his mind, holding a seat in Congress aids in his pursuit of young women on the Internet. How many women would care to chat with a shrimpy, forty-something blowhard otherwise? Also, he certainly realizes that he could not engage in such shenanigans in the private sector. His behavior would have cost him his job if he had used an employer’s computer, sent those images on company time or violated a morals clause in an employment contract. Therefore, he may cling tenaciously to his position until voted out by his constituents because he knows that he will not find another source of income elsewhere.

Elsewhere, Debbie Wasserman-Shultz threw down the race card in an attempt to rally opposition to legislation intended to prevent fraudulent voting. She compared efforts to confirm voters’ identities to legal and unofficial obstacles to voting under racial segregation. Banks, stores and post offices demand photographic identification during transactions yet for a voter to show the same evidence is a racist outrage? When a logical and legal argument against a policy does not exist, one can rely on nanny-statists to resort to race-baiting.

In Schultz’s defense, mandatory verification will impede some people’s ability to vote. Those intending to cast ballots in the names of others will need to be more creative in their deceptions. Certainly, such requirements will reduce the number of dead people who manage to drag themselves to the polls and cast ballots. Hmm, this legislation does seem anti-zombie now that I am pondering it further. Non-citizens may find voting to be more difficult under such regulations. Felons in jurisdictions barring them from casting ballots will face an obstacle under this type of law. What kind of country has this become when people do not feel comfortable to vote illegally anymore? Unless Schultz believes that Blacks and Hispanics regularly engage in voter fraud, then how can she explain that such laws would discriminate against those two groups?

In contrast, Sarah Palin muddled a response to a question about her visit to a national landmark during her “yet to be formally announced” presidential campaign. For a star of a popular television series to speak incorrectly or ridiculously about a topic outside of her profession is nothing new. Does anyone remember Ted Danson’s dire predictions of impending environmental doom in the 1980s? The Oscars have served as a venue for pontificating on socio-political issues at least since Marlon Brando’s boycott of the ceremony in 1973 over his objection to the portrayal of the indigenous peoples of the Americas in films despite the absurd lack of connection to winning an award. The Dixie Chicks, Sinead O’Connor and other musicians have injected their political beliefs during performances in recent decades. Numerous other stars in different arts and in various venues have spouted off inanely or incoherently so Palin is just fitting into the same mold, at worst.

Palin did not recount the tale of Paul Revere’s late night ride to the satisfaction of some amateur historians. Many of these critics would have vilified her even had she delivered a one hundred percent accurate description with Churchillian eloquence. Yes, she did misstate the purpose of his ride: to warn militiamen of the impending arrival of Redcoats intending to seize their stash of weapons and ammunition and arrest two of their leaders. No, he was not sent as a messenger to the Redcoats; he did reveal his role in raising the alarm after they captured him.

Palin did hint at the famous line attributed to Revere, “The British are coming!” No historical evidence exists to confirm that he yelled this line. In fact, it seems highly improbable. His ride occurred more than a year before the Declaration of Independence. Therefore, even the most ardent opponents of the authorities still considered themselves as “British” at that time. Despite that, every pupil in elementary school undoubtedly learned this falsehood in American history class. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow deserves the blame for that bit inaccuracy in his epic poem “Paul Revere’s Ride”, not Sarah Palin. Nevertheless, the “lame-stream media” prefers to continue their obsession with the woman who has labeled them thusly. The media’s lust-hate relationship with Palin does not appear to be approaching its end for at least eighteen more months.

COPYRIGHT BY CHARLES KASTRIOT JUNE 2011

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