Tag Archives: Washington D.C.

So Obviously I Never Wrote a Post-Election Blog…

Or, for that matter, anything since October (well, if we’re being honest, September).  My bad.  We’ve all had moments where our already chaotic pace of life hits the afterburners and kicks into the realm of unmanageable.  In those moments, something has to give. For me, it was this blog.

Please forgive me.

C'mon, you can't stay mad at me for long. I even whipped out the puppy dog eyes to get you to forgive me.

I always feel guilty when I neglect The Beltway Perspective, but I’ve never felt worse than now.  Prior to this latest lapse, I had never let a month go by without posting something.  Often, even that schedule proved too infrequent for my liking, but failing to publish anything for the better part of five months is inexcusable.

I neglected a loyal contingent of fans and friends who enjoyed The Beltway Perspective for its value as a forum that allowed people across the entire political spectrum to have civil, intellectual debates about our country’s most pressing issues.

My Shitzu

If my puppy dog eyes weren't good enough... I'd like to say that this is a picture of my dog bored because The Beltway Perspective was on hiatus, but in reality, he was just tired.

Mea culpa.  Lets move past this bump in the road in our shared history together.  It’s time to rekindle those old feelings that brought us together in the first place.

 

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My Effort to Restore Sanity: Holding Glenn Beck Accountable Week

To Celebrate the First Anniversary of The Beltway Perspective, a New Post Every Day Analyzing and Fact Checking my Favorite Pundit

Birthday Cake

Courtesy of Rob J. Brooks

Ready your confetti and streamers.  We’re going to do this birthday right.

For the past few weeks, I’ve pondered ways to celebrate my 365th day as a blogger.  I wanted a fresh idea; a way to really give back to the readers who’ve stuck with me for a year now.  Then it hit me; the best gift I can give is content – lots and lots of content.  That’s when I decided that I would post every day between September 27 and October 1.

But what to post about?  Let’s be honest, I rarely come up with original content.  I play the role of political analyst, weighing in on news that everyone else is already covering.  This special week of non-stop posts calls for something more.

Why Just Cover the News?  Let’s Help Make It!

Last week, I was inspired by Jon Stewart’s announcement that he plans to hold the “Rally to Restore Sanity” here in the District of Columbia on October 30.  Stewart made the announcement just weeks after the decidedly insane Glenn Beck held his “Restoring Honor” rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  Was Beck’s rally insane?  No.  But he is.

There could be no better way to respond to Stewart’s plea for sensibility than to help him pave the way for sanity here in the nation’s capital.  That’s why, starting Monday, I will watch Glenn Beck so that you don’t have to.  I will analyze every word of every show, fact checking and poking fun along the way.  Oh, we’ll have some laughs, we’ll have some cries (knowing Beck, there might be a lot of crying), and we’ll even have a daily scorecard tracking the total number of times Beck mentions socialism, communism, progressivism and Marxism.

(**Please note: If you plan on playing the Glenn Beck drinking game using the terms listed above, only drink when Beck uses one of the keywords within two words of President Obama’s name; i.e. “Obama’s socialist agenda” or “Obama’s Marxist cabinet.”  Otherwise, you risk alcohol poisoning)

Since Tea Party Movement is already taken, we’ll call it the Birthday Party Movement

Let’s make this celebration worthwhile.  Tell your friends, family, former teachers, religious leaders, and the man standing next to you in line at Burger King that it’s time to restore sanity and in order to do that, we need to make sure everyone knows that Glenn Beck is insane.

Let’s become the news story.

***Message to Steven Colbert: It was only after thoughtful consideration that I opted to join Jon Stewart’s campaign to restore sanity.  While I respect your patriotism and service to this country, Stewart’s vision for America better resonates with my own.  I’m sorry that I will be working counter to your effort to keep fear alive.

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Public Trust/Private Lust

The Impact of Extramarital Affairs on Political Careersjohn-edwards-092109-main

In August 2008, John Edwards admitted to having an extramarital affair with a campaign staff member.  Today, more than a year later, the implications of the affair and its effect on Edward’s marriage are still front page news.  Granted, this story of adultery is especially juicy because it involves a two-time presidential candidate, and may have resulted in a love child – but are these stories of politicians being unfaithful ever not juicy?  When a politician cheats, the affair comes to define his entire political career, no matter how great his achievements.  But here is the question: should it?

A disturbing trend

Since 2007, there seems to have been never-ending procession of cheaters exposed in Washington:

■March 10, 2008: Eliot Spitzer admits to having repeatedly paid for sex with prostitute Ashley Dupre.

■August 9, 2008: Democrat John Edwards admits that he repeatedly lied about having an affair while campaigning for president.

■September 4, 2008: Democratic Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick resigns from his position after he lied under oath about his affair with his chief of staff, Christine Beatty.

■June 16, 2009: Republican Sen. John Ensign of Nevada admits during a news conference that he had an affair with a campaign staff member.

■June 24, 2009: At a press conference, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford admits to having an affair with a woman in Argentina

Click here for a more complete list of offenders

What are they thinking?

There is one common characteristic that all of the aforementioned men share – an affair effectively ended their tenure in politics.  Most attempted to save face by shamelessly forcing their dejected wives to stand next to them while they described every painful detail of their “mistake” to the media.  Some tried to excuse their actions while others accepted responsibility for them.  No matter the strategy, their careers were as good as dead.  That is because there is no recovering from an affair.  Let’s examine this from a public relations perspective.

Why do politbclinton-lewinsky2icians get only one strike before they’re called out?

“When Clinton lied, nobody died…”  That slogan has become popular in recent years.  It touches on a legitimate point, but fails to give sufficient credit to Clinton’s mistakes.  (I will preface this point by acknowledging that Clinton is among my all-time favorite presidents).  Conservatives and liberals who were outraged by Clinton’s actions had every right to be.  That goes for everyone who disapproved of Mark Sanford’s, John Ensign’s, Elliot Spitzer’s and John Edwards’ trysts as well.

Our public officials are elected with the presumption that they will act ethically and morally while in office.  This is a principle that cannot be adulterated (no pun intended) if our politicians hope to retain America’s faith in government.  I consider infidelity to be one of the most immoral acts a person can commit.  Although I realize it is a transitive argument, I believe that the ability to commit one particularly immoral act indicates you are capable of committing others.

If a politician is being disloyal to his wife and family, how can we presume he will be loyal to us when he is legislating on our behalf?  Isn’t it reasonable for us to believe him capable of other immoral acts like money laundering, unfair lobbyist treatment and general corruption?  After all, the victimized constituents aren’t going to be sitting across from him at the dinner table when that scandal is uncovered.  If a politician is narcissistic enough to believe he can get away with an affair, why would he not exhibit the same confidence when committing other heinous acts?

The best way to handle this crisis – don’t cheat

I mentioned in last week’s blog that credibility is everything in public relations.  In politics, it’s even more important.  As President Grover Cleveland once said, “A public office is a public trust.”  Deception and lies destroy credibility.  No matter what PR strategies a disgraced politician uses to try to salvage his career, there is no denying the fact that he has forsaken the public’s confidence, and can no longer hope to have the people’s faith.

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