Today splashed all over the front page of the Seattle Times was news of the resignation of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber. I have to admit that while this guy is supposedly a big wheel in that state—having just been elected to his fourth term as governor—I had never heard of him before. I knew that Oregon must have a governor like every other state, but then again, the only reason I know that Jay Inslee is the governor of the state I live in is because he is a Democrat and I need to make certain I don’t vote for a Republican by mistake.
The principle reason I vote for Democrats over Republicans is because the latter just don’t give a damn about people, playing off the hate of one group against another, generally racial in nature, conning “poor whites” into thinking that the source of their “problems” are not their party of choice’s billionaire and corporate paymasters, but certain groups who are worse off than they are. I am willing to forgive personal lapses in judgment in Democratic candidates, because no one is “perfect,” although in this country these days there are plenty of so-called moral paladins and holier-than-thou types who need reasons to justify their existence and overlook their own faults.
Now in the present case, it seems that now former governor Kitzhaber had a major personal failing that that Republicans and assorted fatuous hypocrites have chosen to see as a “crime.” His current fiancé, Cylvia (that’s “C” as in “S”) Hayes, had apparently bewitched him into thinking that she cares about him and not his position. The principle charge is that Kitzhaber “violated” ethics rules by allowing Hayes to advise him on clean-energy issues while being paid taxpayer money as an outside consultant. Huh? If there is an “ethical” violation, it’s in pretty hazy territory, if you ask me. This might have been less what the Associated Press called a “spiraling crisis” if Hayes did not have a past of doing questionable things for money. This included a brief marriage to an Ethiopian immigrant for $5,000 in 1997. This was her third marriage before she was 29. There was also something about buying land in Washington, the intended purpose for growing marijuana.
Thus it would appear that the 67-year-old Kitzhaber was so smitten with a woman 21 years his junior and still fairly attractive (with the help of a good dose of a face powder) to overlook her past—if he actually knew about any of it before it all broke out in the press. Republicans had used this information as their “October Surprise” this past election, hoping to defeat Kitzhaber, but he still won in this heavily Democratic state. Unfortunately, the media needs to meet its profit goals with the latest sensationalist story, so The Oregonian issued its opinion that Kitzhaber “broke faith” with the people and could no longer effectively lead the state. He must resign.
Kitzhaber claims he doesn’t believe that he has done anything wrong; the truth of the matter that it is probably true. As noted, he really is only “guilty” of being foolishly “smitten” with a young gold-digger, and hadn’t thought of, or wasn’t advised of, any potential ethics violation. After all, it isn’t like this kind of thing isn’t uncommon; the new governor, Secretary of State Kate Brown, says she is “bisexual” but is said to be married to a “man.” It is obviously a marriage of political “convenience,” because no one would say they are “bisexual” unless he or she preferred to swing the other way.
But in our day and age, none of this would be a “problem” unless certain people with a political motive wanted to make it one, and Democrats in the legislature and the state attorney general’s office have gone overboard on this, playing the game Republicans want them to. Republicans know how craven and fearful Democrats are over something relatively innocuous in the grand scheme of human frailty. Democrats are so afraid of voter “backlash” that they will do everything they can to create it out of nothing, refusing to fight Republicans toe-to-toe on their mendacity. You think Republicans would call such a personal lapse a “criminal” ethical failure? This is at best a minor ethical lapse, and Kitzhaber is guilty of nothing more than clouding his personal judgment and become involved with someone who would use him for her own gain in return for intimate “favors.”
Republicans, on the other hand, know all about human failing and are perfectly sanguine about; after all, it is the “privilege” of the rich and powerful. When one of their own gets into trouble, like Gov. Scott Walker—who repeatedly lied to and misled the voters of the state of Wisconsin—all you have to do is get truckloads of money from your out-of-state billionaire friends, flood the airwaves with hate propaganda that fuels the dark side of voters’ minds, “reminding” them that there are much greater “problems” in this world than some insignificant “human” lapse. While right-wing media would call such an attack on a Republican politician as bald-faced partisanship, the “liberal” media—which pretends to occupy the moral high ground, but more like “holier than though” mendacity—never take into account the fact of human frailty, always backing down when the heat is too much, always afraid to confront Republicans with their own hate and contempt for common people.
Democrats have a bad habit of eating their own, always prepared to strike down even their most committed to core party beliefs, pretending to be shamed by a failure to be “perfect.” Personally, it appears to me that the Democratic Party is so fragmented into competing groups with their own narrow objectives that one thinks nothing of destroying another if it can gain advantage from it. Democrats just can’t understand that there is a difference between personal failing and public crime—and they don’t give the public credit for understanding that difference.