As someone who writes about truth, I feel more obligated than inspired to say something about Blagojevich. If there's anything interesting in the story and the 14-year sentence that was just handed down, it's that he represents our worst fears about politicians. Sometimes, we hand politicians our hopes and they run off with them, with no more conscience about it than the guys who charm one woman after the next out of her life savings.
Maybe it's not even amazing that the judge felt he lied on the witness stand, or that his only hint of remorse seemed to materialize once it was clear protestations of innocence could do no more good. Prosecutors claimed he misused his power as soon as he came into office as governor, after being elected to help reform Illinois political corruption.
Perhaps the most disturbing thing is the realization that few truly sane people stay in politics long- the compromises necessary ensure that only those with huge egos and little sensitivity will survive. Does this mean there's a little bit of Blagojevich in every politician? I hate to think so, but incidents like this always raise those little doubts in my mind.
G. Randy Kasten
Just Trust Me: Finding the Truth in a World of Spin (Quest Books, September 2011)