21 July 2010


The Shirley Sherrod fiasco involves, as the WaPo incompletely notes, more than a few villains and incompetents. What I'd like to point out now, though, is the most dangerous aspect of the entire affair: The boy who cried wolf.

I'd like to think, as a longtime Illinois resident, that I know something about political corruption. Remember, half of our last eight governors have served jail time, and based on what I've seen (and comments from trustworthy direct observers) of the trial, they're about to get more company. These are just the ones who were stupid enough to get caught. Then, too, there's the blatant misuse of public office by leaders in both major parties (and of all political ideologies) that seems to be not just a good idea in Illinois politics: It's the law. I'm lookin' at you, Mr Madigan and Mr Philip, to name just a couple of you miscreants...

The problem with the Sherrod situation is that it was all too plausible... and therefore an easy target... and is therefore going to make it that much more difficult to deal with a real racist abuser of office. They are out there; and one can say that just relying on statistical probability, not even specific knowledge. And some of them are elected sleazebuckets, so there's not a lot we can do to get rid of them (see previous paragraph).

So, congratulations, you arrogant, egotistical, self-serving sons of bitches like Br3itbart. Your eagerness to score quick points by distorting facts has just made it that much more difficult to deal either with the particular problem in question... or with the broader sense of abuse of power and corruption. In short, this is a self-inflicted wound on the forces in favor of good government. Unless, that is, that's not what you want.

If you think I'm ever going to believe any "video evidence" you present in the future, Mr Br3itbart, you've got another thing coming; this incident has permanently self-impeached your credibility. Of course, that assumes that the facts matter in the first place, which seems to be a concept well beyond your tiny little mind's capacity. That, too, though, may be what you want: You can now claim honorable martyrdom in the furtherance of righteousness. Or something like that. Or maybe go down flaming in a libel suit that would be successful (if Ms Sherrod is so inclined).

I thoroughly expect that there will be a comment from Michelle Ba(hmann (R-Planet P) or another of the loonier Mad Tea Partiers in the next 48 hours that tries to slide around how they got it wrong this time and instead focuses on how Shirley Sherrod is a symbol of everything that is wrong in government. And so the news cycle (and stomachs) will churn...