Monday, January 28, 2008

Wherever You Go, There Politics...Are

While there areas of the country, of various states, counties, cities and neighborhoods that have, for whatever reason, been labeled with any particular trait, characteristic, or identity, I have found that wherever you go, people are people. I could, certainly, be writing this blog from the other side of the fence, pointing out how crazy California is. I have long maintained that California should really be an independent country because, well, we don't get the rest of the country and the rest of the country doesn't get us. But I digress.

Politics, and politicians are same wherever you go since, well, they're people too and, well, birds of a feather, right? In California, it turns out the Governator (case in point of why the rest of the country doesn't get us) gets into a little accident on one of his motorcycles and we discover he (gasp!) doesn't have his motorcycle license. I'm sure if you have ever met more than 3 people with motorcycles, you probably know someone who rode one without a license. I mean, really, it basically a bicycle, right? If you don't have a license, they impound the bike, I'm sure there's a misdemeanor, and you get a stern lecture, then you go get the license.

Well, here in The Volunteer State, lawmakers do things like get DUIs. Last year, State Rep Bob Briley got plowed and went on a "drunken rampage" where he "tore down streets at 100 mph." He was finally stopped and arrested, but not before cursing and asking the arresting officers to shoot him in the head. This was all captured on the police in-car cam. Well, the Distinguished Gentleman apologized to his colleagues last week for the behavior he's "not proud of."

All that is really just run of the mill politics. From what I can tell, he still has his license, he's serving a jail sentence on weekends only, and still a member of the State House of Reps. His apology however, has sparked a fantastic war of words as demonstrated by the titles of articles in the Tennessean:

  • Briley statement draws widespread sympathy
  • Briley earns praise, forgiveness in House
  • Citizens react with anger at Briley, ‘thieves, adulterers,’ comment (note the comma, it's important)
  • Legislators' forgiveness of Briley steams some voters

After the apology, Rep. Gary Moore defended Briley saying, "Some of us are alcoholics. Some of us are thieves. Some of us are adulterers." Rep. Charles Curtiss said Briley has "got a lot of issues in his life, but the reality of it is that all of us have issues in our lives. The press has not caught up with all of us yet." And then went on to say, "I don't think there are any criminals in here, but we're a cross-section of society. There are people in there that drink, people in there that beat their wives, people in there unfaithful to their wives. No question in my mind about that."

Lessons to take away: DUI's are OK for white elected officials, many of whom are also alcoholics, thieves, adulterers, and wife-beaters. But they are definitely not criminals.


Nate said...

Set a course for "Bob Dole!"

Bret said...

I am so mad at the Secret Service right now.