Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bright flash before the crash

This tongue-in-cheek quip from a Forbes article about the TARP bailout for banks is a jewel:
It's tough to say no to an overbearing uncle who prints money.
As with American banks, so with American states:

One of the more underrated news stories earlier this year was that of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford turning down federal stimulus money. He was one of the few Republican governors who had resisted federal assistance for his state, and was left the last man standing.

Sanford had refused to accept the $700 million handout on grounds that the United States is moving toward a "savior-based economy"and that increased spending won't solve economic woes. At one point, he offered to accept the money provided half of it was used to pay down South Carolina's dues. His state's legislature, however, turned against him; his administration got sued and ended up having to accept the money.

Very little of this made the national headlines. In a society where being neck-deep in debt is considered a sound financial position, who would empathize?

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However, what did make the news was Sanford's disclosure yesterday about his extramarital affair. Not news, BIG news!

Media priorities, huh?

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Personally, I don't give a paisa about what a politician does in his private life as long as it is not illegal. As a matter of fact, I am sad that Sanford's promising political career is practically over. We may not agree with him or other Republican nutjobs on their social views, but who can not respect a dude who turns down free federal paper?

In spite of my sympathy for Sanford, I am enjoying myself seeing liberals of all colors laugh their nuts off at the irony of a valuewala Republican cheating on his wife (of the one-man-one-woman type marriage, mind you). I wouldn't have been so cruel if I hadn't seen the picture below. Wtf? I mean, what kind of craven person flaunts his family for professional gain? (Answer: all American politicians)







And there was blowback


It is perverse how much the marital condition matters to the electorate in America (always feel proud to think of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and APJ Abdul Kalam, both bachelors, being voted in without any questions being asked). For the politicians themselves, it can be a double-edged sword, as Sanford's case shows.

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