Thursday, January 07, 2010
Taking One for the Team
Dodd isn’t pure—none of ‘em are—but he was a pretty good, pretty liberal Senator for a very long time. I’ve lost touch with the details of politics in CT since I left for college a long-ass time ago, but Dodd, to me, gave CT plenty of reasons to be proud: He's got a pretty long list of accomplishments to his credit, including authoring the Family and Medical Leave Act.
As for his downfall—as I said, I don’t follow CT too closely—all this talk in liberal blog-circles of his seat being a lost cause and he better get out, etc, had me flummoxed. I knew about the mortgage fiasco, but Dodd was cleared of any wrongdoing, and it was really pretty weak shit. All of the dirt being thrown on his political casket had me assuming another, much heavier shoe had dropped to finish him as a viable politician, especially for a previously popular 5-term incumbent.
It really seems like a pretty stand-up guy (again, for a Senator) was undone by a media hyperfocus on an overblown scandal. That’s a shame, because much shittier senators have survived far worse.
And the real kick in the pants with this? Dodd backing out now means Blumenthal runs in 2010 instead of against Lieberman in 2012. It always seems to work out for that miserable p.o.s.
UPDATE: I don't mean to absolve Dodd completely like some kind of brain-dead GOP bootlicker. He was completely cleared of any wrongdoing, but I don't think that equals innocence. I think much of what went down with him at the end was symptomatic of being too close to the people he should have maintained a clear distance from. Did he get better-than-average mortgage terms? Sure. SO DID I. It’s called good credit, high income and being a longtime customer.
But if you are the Chair of the Banking Committee, you don't get any leeway to plead ignorance or uncertainty in matters financial—you keep your shit square and way above board. Failing to do that—or worse, failing to realize what you are doing looks wrong even if technically okay—means you've lost perspective, and it's time to step aside.