What does it take to end a political career?
posted at 2:08 am on January 15, 2011 by Laura Curtis
You know what doesn’t end a political career?
- Being found guilty of 11 ethics violations. (Charlie Rangel, D-NY)
- Stuffing your pants with classified documents, stealing and destroying them. (Sandy Berger, Bill Clinton’s National Security Advisor, went on to become a Hillary Clinton campaign advisor in 2008.)
- A prostitution scandal. (Democrat Elliot Spitzer, then Governor of NY, now cohost of Parker Spitzer and David Vitter, R-LA, still in office, were clients. Barney Frank, D-MA, still in office; his boyfriend ran a prostitution ring from their home.)
- Having the FBI find $90,000 in your freezer. (William Jefferson, D-LA, was re-elected while under federal investigation.)
- Being a Klan leader, and saying “white niggers” on TV. (Robert Byrd – D-WV, re-elected until he died while in office) In contrast, Trent Lott, R-MS, was driven from his post as Minority Leader for complimenting former Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond at a birthday party.
- Being found guilty of defamation. (Al Sharpton is currently a radio host, and regularly appears on cable network opinion shows.)
- Plagiarism and an ongoing series of gaffes. (Joe Biden)
- Calling Jews “hymies” and New York City, “Hymietown;” fathering an illegitimate child (Reverend Jesse Jackson, who is still active politically and still welcome as a guest on cable news networks.)
- Being an unindicted co-conspirator in the Abscam scandal. (Jack Murtha, D-PA, re-elected until he died in office.)
- Being caught on tape smoking crack cocaine. (Marion Barry, Democratic mayor of Washington, DC, went on to serve on the Washington D.C. City Council and another term as mayor after his release from prison.)
- Association with a domestic terrorist. (Barack Obama)
- Swimming away and letting Mary Jo Kopechne drown, and offering to help the Soviet Union defeat America’s most formidable enemy: President Ronald Reagan. (Ted Kennedy, D-MA, re-elected until he died in office.)
It’s a relief, after all that, to learn there are some lines that just can’t be crossed. That line, according to the MSNBC brain trust, is speaking up after being widely – and utterly falsely – accused of being an accessory to murder. Now that Sarah Palin is vanquished and her political career has been declared over, we can all rest easy; the public trust has been restored.
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