Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nature of the Pol

Up front, I'm an obsessive sort and can be quite a bluenose. Regular readers know I'm aghast at state Sen. Dianne Wilkerson's unwillingness or inability to accept responsibility for her actions, including civil and criminal transgressions.

Moreover, her chimerical and doomed sticker campaign paints her heavily with the fantasy roller. For someone who allegedly is so bright, how could she act so stupidly, so often, so long?

Through over a decade of self-destructive actions, she has managed to rob the district set up as the safe black senate seat in a state that elects far to few black legislators, or lawmakers of color at all. As a result, I obsess on the why. As someone who agrees with many of her political positions, I also have strongly urged her here and elsewhere to accept responsibility for her actions and clean up her act for real, including driving away those around her who seem to tell her to deny and stonewall.

For my own reality check, I got a dope slap from a long term friend, which got reinforcement from a news analysis today. Let's put the second first.

In today's Financial Times, Michael Skapinker nailed me and more than a few others with his questions. His analysis went beyond the subject, who is responsible for the rampant financial horrors we face.

Addressing a letter to the FT calling for bankers to apologize, he wrote:
It is certainly true that others were responsible for the fiasco too - such as house-buyers who took on debts they could not service. Some, it is true, were hoodwinked. Many others trusted that rising house prices would rescue them from their imprudent borrowing.

Then there are those of us - governments, regulators, ratings agencies and journalists - who never blew the whistle.

It is worth asking why bankers find it hard to apologise. It is also worth wondering why the rest of us need their apologies so badly.


She'll land on her feet somewhere.


Isn't it so, or as my youngest loves to say, "Oh, snap!" While I think that Wilkerson could have pulled out the primary last month if she had publicly apologized...even once, I feel she too owes us that.

I kicked around her odd lack of moral fiber and candor with a long-term friend. We've known each other for decades, but perhaps more important, he is a psychologist. For what it's worth, he's also black and another way-back friend of his (a black woman lawyer) has known Wilkerson for many years.

Well my friend was not at all surprised. He figures this is my problem only. As he put it, "And so forth. She is a politician! She's not crazy. Not stupid. With the huge ego that goes with all that.I doubt that she was seduced by Beelzebub. So vote her out and be done with it. She'll land on her feet somewhere. This is Boston!"

That's surely the better attitude. She's screwed herself out of this guaranteed spot, robbing her constituents of their admired champion. That's the way it is, sports fans.

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let the chips fall where they may! Of course we value free speech in America, but those with greater access to the mass media than the "Average Joe/Jane" should bear greater responsibility for fair treatment. This article is completely over the top in it's criticism of the Senator. She has not dodged responsibility for her actions. She simply presented an explanation. The reality is that many do not agree with her explanation and that is their right. It doesnt make her a bad person. An apology is not required when you do not agree with an issue. To put out a piece like this is uncalled for. The people understand her issue and will take one side or the other, but articles like this one are unnecessary and unfair.

massmarrier said...

What's unfair? She has had well over a decade of one violation of regulations or laws after another. People I know who switched their long-time allegiance from her told me it was in large part because she always had a reason why her troubles were not her fault.

That wore too thin for too many. She'd go a long way toward convincing voters that she'd changed her ways and would not be distracted cleaning up her messes if she'd start by accepting responsibility.

I have sat in rooms hearing her say "those were accounting errors" again and again. What I have never heard is that she admits she was loose with her actions and would not repeat them. The closest seems to have been saying she'd try her best not to violate campaign finance laws again.

Owning our action should be step one for all us when we goof up.

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