Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Damp day for politicians

ARLINGTON -- Dead leaves paper sidewalks. Raindrops ripple across puddles. It is a damp day in the greater Boston area.
In Massachusetts and in the nation in general, accusations of misdeeds have dampened political fortunes. On Tuesday, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich became the latest politician to face charges -- in his case, that he allegedly put President-elect Barack Obama's recently vacated US Senate seat up for sale.
Blagojevich joined a trio of Boston-area public figures to confront politically damaging situations. Lorraine Henderson, who supervised the Port of Boston as its Homeland Security Director, met federal accusations of hiring an illegal immigrant to clean her condo. Meanwhile, the feds have charged both Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner and ex-State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson with multiple offenses stemming from the same probe into the alleged extortion of a nightclub operator.
The accusations against three of these public figures -- Blagojevich, Turner, and Wilkerson -- are rooted in that admirable American trait of entrepreneurship -- adding to one's personal profit. The accusations against the fourth -- Henderson -- are connected with another admirable American trait, the beautification and preservation of a home (which has the side virtue of providing employment for others).
When the vices signified by these accusations are considered, however, against whatever subliminal merits they contain, it shows that the national enthusiasm for politics created by the election of Obama should be tempered by a consideration that for every inspirational public figure, there are others whose misdeeds are waiting to rise to the surface and cast a gloom over politics like falling raindrops.

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