Shut Up, Already!

The actions of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford have been weird, but his effort to explain his actions really crosses the line into pathetic territory.  When politicians get caught cheating on their wives, we don’t need to hear about how the affair was not about sex but about some kind of deep, non-physical connection, or how they plan to try to repair their fatally damaged relationship with their spouse, or why they consulted a “spiritual advisor” in an effort to deal with their problems.  Those kinds of tell-all confessions may be fine for vapid Hollywood celebs in a People magazine story, but they are creepy and sad for an elected official.  Such disclosures reflect a disturbing self-centeredness and egotism, as if everyone must care about why they ran off the rails — when in reality people are just embarrassed and dismayed.

Governor Sanford, and other politicians caught in similar compromising positions, should just shut up, take their lumps, and actually concentrate on doing their jobs.  It was focusing on their “emotional needs,” and thereby losing sight of their responsibilities as a public servant, that got them into trouble in the first place.

Re-Corking The Iranian Genies

In recent days it appears that the Iranian government is quashing dissent and its current rulers are trying to consolidate their power. However, given Iran’s byzantine governmental structure, with various councils and courts and other entities with various charters and responsibilities, I am not sure that the reality of the situation is clear to anyone. What does seem clear is that, in recent weeks, many people in Iran — and the Iranian population is predominantly young — received their first true taste of free speech and free political thought. Often, it is difficult to return those genies to their bottles, and let’s hope that proves to be the case in Iran.