Thursday, January 12, 2006

Power

The aphorisms that power corrupts and politics attracts scoundrels are evidenced perfectly in the current confirmation hearings of Samuel Alito. Richard Cohen (a pundit with which Leonidas seldom agrees) in Wednesday's Washington Post seems to nail it perfectly in referring to Senator Joseph Biden:

"The seniority that makes Biden so knowledgeable on foreign policy -- a conversation with him is always instructive -- is also what cripples. He has been in the Senate since 1973 and suffers, as nearly all senators do sooner or later, from the conviction that he and his colleagues are the center of the world. After all, no one -- with the possible exception of family members -- ever tells a senator to shut up. They are surrounded by fawning staff and generally treated as minor deities. They lose perspective, which is why, now that you've asked, they talk and talk at these hearings. They are convinced the world is watching. Actually, it's only a half a dozen shut-ins on C-SPAN -- and, of course, the nearly catatonic press corps. Everyone else is playing computer solitaire.

Biden ran for president once before -- and then, too, his mouth went off on its own. (In 1988, his stump speech was perilously similar to the one used by Neil Kinnock, Britain's Labor Party leader.) This time seems no different, except the loss is greater... He has much to say -- and then too much to add. He is an anatomical disaster. His Achilles' heel is his mouth."

And then there is the other mouth: "The Swimmer", Kennedy. Of course the reason for the ongoing circus is the incredible power wielded by the U.S. judiciary as well as the perquisites enjoyed by other members of our ruling elite. Leonidas believes he will reread Claire Wolf's "101 Things to do Until the Revolution".

MOLON LABE

1 comment:

Fred said...

Ahhh...101 Things to do 'Til the Revolution. One of my favorite books. Loaned it to a friend and never got it back.