Thursday, December 11, 2008

The World Turned Upside Down

Some things in life you just expect will never change. The sun comes up in the east, goes down in the west. Spring follows winter. The Cubs fold in September, and the Bears drive the length of the field, only to stall out on the four-yard line.

And in political scandals, my brother's observation holds: Republicans get into trouble over money and power, while Democrats get into trouble over sex. 'Twas ever thus. Bill Clinton's dalliances in the White House led to his impeachment; George Ryan's bribe-taking landed him in the Big House. Gary Hart's run for the presidency ended aboard the good ship Monkey Business; Richard Nixon's presidency ended with the Watergate break-in.

Of course, there have been a few signs things are getting out of whack--Republican Larry Craig got into a spot of trouble in an airport men's room, while Democrat William Jefferson was found with ninety thousand bucks he shouldn't have had. But Craig didn't actually do anything more than tap his feet the wrong way in the presence of an undercover cop (word to the wise: do not turn on your iPod while in a public restroom), and Jefferson's ninety grand were stashed in a freezer, of all things (a pro like Jack Abramoff would have had that money safely stashed in the Cayman Islands). These could be seen as aberrations, the exceptions that proved the rule. And anyway, the Natural Order of Things quickly reasserted itself as Democrat Eliot Spitzer had to resign as governor of New York after being caught hiring prostitutes, and Republican Ted Stevens was convicted of taking bribes. Ah, reassuring normality...

But now, along comes Ill-Annoy governor Rod Blow-dry-o-vich, he of the expensive hair and more-expensive daily commute, upsetting the natural order of things with a bribery scandal that makes George Ryan look like a Boy Scout. What gives? Is this nominal Democrat really a Republican at heart? Or has the world really turned upside down?

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