Systematic Failure: How low can a politician go?

Just when I thought it was impossible to be any more disgusted by the shenanigans of politicians, along come two New York Times stories that turned my stomach.

First up? John Edwards.

After repeated denials and lots of puppy dog eyes, the former Democratic presidential nominee-hopeful has now publicly admitted that, yes, he is the father of his former mistress Rielle Hunter’s 2 year old daughter.

It was bad enough that Edwards cheated on a wife who has repeatedly battled cancer; worse that he had neither the courage, nor the decency to either walk away if he felt his relationship with his wife was over, or keep his “tool” in the “shed.” He compounded the folly by denying his own child. And then came the “worstest.”

In Edward’s public acknowledgement of paternity, he has the audacity to write: “It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter, and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me.”

There is so much wrong with that statement that I can do little more than sputter in indignation.

Second? Asif Ali Zardari

This Pakistani politician has been unpopular since before he emerged to become the country’s 11th president. As the husband of slain leader Benazir Bhutto he was long been reviled by the Pakistani public for his ill-concealed greed, ambition and corruption.

It was bad enough that he used his wife’s untimely death to place himself in the President’s chair; worse that one of his first international interactions was too embarrass himself publicly during a 2008 meeting with then Republic Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin by oozing over how beautiful she was and hinting, heavily, that he would like a hug.

Now the New York Times reports, Zardari has emerged (after spending most of 2009 in hiding from domestic critics to avoid public and legislative backlash against his leadership) ready to lead his country into a new decade. That he has no real plan or capability to address Pakistan’s massive economic and security issues doesn’t seem to bother the man known derisively as “Mr. 10 Percent” for his insistence for kickbacks on government contracts.

While Edward’s actions are more immediately and obviously repugnant, there is – thankfully – very little chance he can revive his political career. Zardari’s weaknesses as a leader, unfortunately, have yet to leave him in a similar position.

2 thoughts on “Systematic Failure: How low can a politician go?”

  1. As the lyrics go in that Sting song, I’ve lost my faith in politicians. It was probably silly of me ever to have had any, but I did. The 2008 campaign was a big, ugly eye-opener, and not just because of Edwards. I used to get a rush of hope and pride when I went to vote. Now I’m not even sure I should bother.

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