"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." Lord Acton, 1887
We have two stories that were developing last week, each one incredible in its' own right. We have the apparent scheme to sell the soon to be vacant senate seat of Barack Obama by Illinois Governor Blagojevich, and the disappearance of what could be $50 billion in potentially one the largest fraud schemes of all time.
The Selling Of Washington
If this story of the attempt to sell Barack Obama's seat for personal gain proves to be true, or even if not true which is a less likely scenario, it could mark the end of the short honeymoon period for the president elect as names close to him are going to be dragged through the investigation.
Get This Guy Out Of There
The Attorney General of Illinois is trying to get the governor removed from power pending these investigations saying that he is unfit to perform his duties, as just another example of the corruption and greed so prevalent today that threatens to pull apart the fiber or the country.
The Suddenly Shy Rahm Emanuel
Rahm Emanuel, the Chief of Staff for Obama has done his best to stay out of the public eye and not answer the questions relating to whether he has any involvement with the Governor and this scheme. His office vehemently denies any such involvement This move away from getting out in front is not typical for Emanuel, who is known as something of a pit bull and no shrinking violet. I remember back to the Clinton controversies and how he had no shortage of things to say in front of any camera that he could find. It would be helpful to Obama, assuming that there is nothing to know, for him to do the same now.
Given the current state that the country is in, and the tough decisions that are going to have to be made once inaugurated, this is not the time for these types of distractions. Obama needs to be decisive, swift and accurate in what he does and what he says regarding this situation. If there is anything to know, tell it, because it will come out. In this day and age there is no such thing as hiding the truth if people are interested enough in finding it. As they say in sports, man up and tell the American public whatever there is to know. If you say there is nothing to know, you best be telling the truth. Truth is one of the "changes" from Washington that would be refreshing. Remember the saying that is true in politics as well as most anything else:
The cover up is usually much worse than the crime.
Tuesday: A Look At Bernie Madoff and his Band of Billions