Monday, August 16, 2004

the mcgreevey melee

i'll admit to knowing nothing about new jersey politics, and even less about gov. mcgreevey's apparently messy ethical history. but the shape this scandal is taking is, in my eyes, a fair amount clearer than the media would have us believe. to wit, mcgreevey made a series of awful and unethical decisions while in office, managed to ignore and cover them up until they finally backfired, then leapt upon his own sword, recapturing a brief moment of dignity by pairing his socially repugnant message of corruption and irresponsibilty with a more attractive one of self-actualization and defiant pride. a cynic might call it martyrdom.

but disappearing in the wake is mcgreevey's highly partisan and, to be fair, unethical decision to delay stepping down until mid-November. by doing so, mcgreevey ensures that his replacement will be an appointed Democrat, rather than the winner of a special election in November. Mcgreevey, not having abused the people of New Jersey long enough with his careless leadership (of all posts to hand out to an unqualified boy toy, Homeland Security ? The mind boggles) now will take the low road again, and guarantee his party the maintenance of power. It's machiavellian, it's Rove-ian, and it's wrong. If there is time for the people of New Jersey to choose their governor, they should do so.

And that being said, its hard to find sympathy for the GOP in this instance. Their demands for an election are unquestionably in the right, but their expectation for the Democrats to continue stepping in front of moving trains while they continually seek new heights of
ethical depravity falls on the deafest of ears.


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