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Belmont Club

No Consequences

February 2nd, 2013 - 2:54 pm

Despite his embarrassing performance at a Senate confirmation hearing, a top White House aide believes “there’s no question that there will be more than 50 votes to confirm Senator Hagel.” Hillary Clinton was also upbeat  about her political future. She suggested that her record on Benghazi would not pose the slightest impediment to running for President in 2016. The former secretary of state said that she lived in an “evidence based world”. And in that world only one thing counts: “we won”. That fact trumps everything.

Robert Menendez knows how the world works. The New York Times explains it in terms that would make Mr. Rogers proud.

Dr. Salomon E. Melgen, a wealthy Florida eye surgeon, has always been happy to help out his friend, Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey … Mr. Menendez, a Democrat, has also been helpful to Dr. Melgen, according to records and interviews, in ways that could bring the doctor a highly lucrative windfall.

Now did you get that? It’s called being right neighborly. “The friendship between the two men goes back to the 1990s, when Mr. Menendez, who entered the House of Representatives in 1993, began regularly visiting the Dominican Republic. They spent holidays together, often in the Dominican Republic, where Dr. Melgen has a home in Casa de Campo, a gated oceanfront resort where houses cost as much as $20 million and which has been home to some of the country’s richest residents, like Oscar de la Renta.”

Menendez is what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) was proud to call “a ‘friend’ and ‘outstanding senator’”.  And why by the standards of Reid’s friends, could that not be? Menendez may soon be the chairman of the senate foreign relations committe.

“We won”. Tattoo that on your hand. And that claim is fundamentally correct. As Glenn Reynolds observed “democracy is a means, not an end”. It will take you wherever you want to go. Including straight to the poorhouse. Democracy has consequences, for the voters at least, if not for the public officials.

Recently the Atlantic Wire observed that Zimbabwe is literally down to its last $217 dollars. Those of you who’ve always wanted to be rich enough to buy up a whole country, here’s your chance. Maybe you can talk old Robert into throwing in the Presidential palace for an extra 10 bucks.

The unpalatable fact is that somebody’s got to pay the bill when the big leaders don’t. “We won” means they won. It doesn’t say anything about how Lena Dunham and Sandra Fluke are going to wind up. It doesn’t say anything about how the kids in Chicago or Detroit will finish out their days.

For the moment the administration can confirm Hagel. The Democrats can push the candidacy of Hillary. They can do most anything they want. But spare a moment to consider the possibility there could be blowback from putting completely incompetent persons in positions like Secretary of Defense.  That the personal safety of people we know — the entire world — including ourselves might one day hang on nonexistent competence of these people.

But no. Let’s lighten up. Here’s a joke. The King of Saudi Arabia offered $50 million dollars to anyone who could make his horse laugh. Robert Mugabe and Keith Olbermann decided to give it a try. Olbermann told the horse joke after joke with his awesome comedic skills to no effect. Then dour Robert Mugabe whispered something in the horse’s ear, whereupon the steed fell to the ground laughing. When the horse had recovered it stood up again. Then Mugabe whispered yet another message and the horse broke down into uncontrollable sobs.

After paying out the money the King of Saudi Arabia said, “you won the contest fair and square. But tell me, what did you whisper to the horse to make it laugh?”

“I told it that Barack Obama was President of the United States.”

“What did you say to make it cry?”

“I told it that Hillary would be next President of the United States.”

Democracy is a journey. Your mileage may vary.


 

The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99

Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99

No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99

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