Jewish World Review Dec. 6, 2011 / 10 Kislev, 5772
Scandals past and present, Or: What would Ike say?
By Paul Greenberg
Congressman Frank was largely responsible for inflating the housing market over the last decade, a decision that set off a chain reaction of fiscal disasters. It led to the Panic of '08-'09, and then the Great Recession that followed in its wake, and which still refuses to disappear. But that was just the start. So much more mischief still waits to be done.
Indeed, is being done as one politically motivated scheme after another is rolled out on
The moral of the story: A fellow can go far in this country if he's a smooth talker.
Many another surprise doubtless awaits. That's politics, jury trials and horse races. All are unpredictable. No matter what the pollsters and oddsmakers may claim.
These days Mr. Gingrich is vociferously opposed -- he tends to be vociferous no matter what subject he's addressing at the moment -- to the kind of private-public deals that led to the housing boom-cum-bust heard 'round the world. But that didn't stop him from accepting a million or two from
Fast on his feet, the new Newt explains that he told
According to Chief Lobbyist Delk, the two talked about how to influence public policy. Or, as he described the services Mr. Gingrich rendered, "What he did was provide counsel on public policy issues." That's as tactful way to put it. Vague as it is suspect.
And this is the guy who's going to ride herd on
It turns out
No doubt the new, ever smoother Mr. Gingrich will have a ready explanation for any and all of his sketchy deals as they come to light one by one. But there ought to be a better reason to elect someone president of
Not that any of this has kept Newt the Irrepressible from vehemently criticizing
There was a time when a Republican president named Eisenhower set out to run an administration that, as the phrase went at the time, would be "cleaner than a hound's tooth." And he meant it. When his top aide and good friend
He would later describe that decision as "the most hurtful, the hardest, the most heartbreaking" of his presidency. But it was necessary. For the integrity of an administration can be at stake even in small matters. Ignore a little scandal and soon enough bigger ones will follow.
One can only speculate about what the 34th president of
To quote General and then
Changing times, changing presidents. And changing mores. Now the ever-fluctuating polls say the
Which is worse -- the scandals or Mr. Gingrich's smooth responses to questions about them? I'd vote for the responses. It's one thing to run up a long chain of ethical failures, another to produce a slick explanation for them.
Yet the ever-unabashed New Gingrich is being mentioned in dispatches as the front-runner for next year's Republican presidential nomination, at least for the moment. How far the
Conclusion: Now is the time for all good men -- and women -- to come to the aid of their party. But isn't it always?
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