Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Sunday, August 22, 2004

McGreevey Needs a Fisking

Jim McGreevey thinks people care what he has to say. Sadly, I suspect a lot of people do. For that reason alone, I think it's time for a good fisking.

"Ten days ago, I made a very difficult personal decision to announce my sexuality and resignation as governor of New Jersey."

I'm sure it was difficult, given the federal corruption investigation, and the huge lawsuit Golan Cipel filed against you. But I salute your political acumen in rallying liberals all over the country to your cause by making it sound like it was your homosexuality - rather than your adultery, corruption, lawsuit or possible indictment.

"I also apologized to my wife for my failure to respect the covenant of our marriage, and to the citizens of New Jersey for allowing my professional decisions to be distracted by my personal life."

But he didn't apologize for hiring $10,000 prostitutes to compromise federal witnesses. I know, minor quibbling point...

"I accepted full responsibility for the sins, transgressions and errors in judgment I exhibited during my tenure and will work to correct the consequences."

Horse crap. You don't accept full responsibility for "sins, transgressions and errors" by throwing up a smokescreen based on gay persecution. And Ace does a good job of illustrating how much we can trust you to correct the consequences. The quick version is that McGreevey is exhausting the state treasury to make pointless, expensive commercials with the sole practical function of rehabilitating his image. But don't take my word for it - go read Ace.

"If any good is to come from this episode - as distinct from the accomplishments of my administration - hopefully, it is that New Jersey and increasingly America recognizes that sexuality is an individual imprint and not a statement of competency and capability."

Still with the smokescreens. Reports indicate that basically everyone in NJ knew you were gay for a long time. You quit because you were about to get very publicly sued, or privately blackmailed (depending on whose version you believe). As far as competency and capability go, you sir are not a poster child of either. I have yet to see any conservative commentator take issue with your homosexuality, only with your profound dishonesty in the manner of your quitting, and your intention to resign only after it's too late for NJ residents to democratically elect a new governor.

"While there are many different and sometimes competing influences, it is my humble hope that my 'coming out' could, in some small way, help those gay Americans who have yet to become open with their sexuality."

You're a real trooper, McGreevey. Care to tell us what those "different and sometimes competing influences" are? Or shall we just assume that a grand jury investigation played some small role?

"Much has been said about my decision not to resign immediately, but to set Nov. 15 as the effective date of my resignation. My initial inclination was to accept responsibility, apologize and move on quickly. The more I reflected, however, the more I realized that leaving office abruptly would be an abandonment of responsibility."

No, you abandoned your responsibility when you used your office to get your boyfriend (at best - victim at worst) a cushy job for which he was not qualified, took illegal campaign contributions, and then hired hookers to cover it up. I'd say you and responsibility parted ways long ago. And if you're now trying to empty the state coffers on useless advertisements, you're still not being responsible. So once again, you're raising a smokescreen.

"I fully believe in the importance of elections within a participatory democracy."

Just so long as my side wins.

"There can be no greater instrument for ensuring the strength and foundation of our system of government than the electoral process."

Which is why my critics are so justified in thinking I am a piece of human garbage for undermining that strength and foundation. You have to know that whatever McGreevey is about to say, it will somehow involve his interests taking precedence over participatory democracy, and in deed the very strength and foundation of our system of government. Just wait for it.

"Recognizing that principle, nonetheless, I can identify two specific reasons for choosing to remain governor until Nov. 15."

Well, we didn't have to wait very long, did we?

"First, there are immediate public policy considerations and actions, which need to be completed. Simply put, there are demands and projects which need to be addressed and put in place now."

McGreevey then lists some of those actions: establishing a stem cell institute, preserving the Highland watershed, establishing a property tax constitutional commission, and security concerns surrounding the RNC in New York. There are two very significant problems with this excuse, however. First of all, if these projects are indeed important for New Jersey, then New Jersey residents will elect someone for whom these projects are similarly important. It is simply absurd to suggest that McGreevey - and only McGreevey - can bring these projects to completion.

The second problem is that we know, based on one of the few problems McGreevey actually admits to, that he is willing to put people in positions they do not merit (i.e. Golan Cipel). McGreevey's actions now stink of corruption, all public trust having been lost, and there is no reason to believe that McGreevey is pursuing the enumerated projects for anything other than personal or partisan political purposes. (Wow, say that five times fast). In other words, if McGreevey was willing to spend lots of money and jeopardize the safety of New Jersey just to get in Cipel's pants, at what point would his conscience forbid him from appointing other cronies to his constitutional commission? Or should we just take his word for it?

"The second major reason is that our 1947 state constitution establishes the Senate president as the official who would succeed a governor in an unexpired term. I acknowledge that the constitution would permit a special election to occur if I were to resign at or about the first week of September. But the constitution does not outline provisions or state requirements for the timing of a resignation. While the constitution does provide the mechanism for an election, the decision of when to make that resignation effective is a personal one."

Similarly, the U.S. Constitution doesn't state when or how a President must make a resignation effective. In the case of Richard Nixon, his resignation was timed to avoid impeachment. So I acknowledge that there is a historical precedent for timing a resignation for shrewdly personal reasons. That precedent doesn't make the calculation any less despicable, however. And I suspect that, had Nixon tried to delay his exit, his ability to govern would have been so far compromised that his continued stay in office would have constituted a further violation of the public trust.

Exactly like what you're doing to New Jersy.

"I made this decision in the context of what I thought was in the best interest of the state."

Sure, just like you made the decision to cheat on your wife in the best interests of the state. Given the above, I think it is clear that you are doing what's in the best interests of Jim McGreevey. No more, and no less.

"I truly believe that an orderly transition is important for continuity and stability."

Just not if an "orderly transition" involves, you know, democracy.

"An acting governor is more inclined by title to finish the good work that has been started."

That's an interesting, unfounded assertion. I'd say a public officer with no direct responsibility to the public whatsoever is more likely to do whatever the heck he feels like than someone who makes actual promises to his actual constituency during an actual campaign. Unless that person in John Kerry, in which case it would be logically impossible to honor all campaign promises.

"Moreover, in this case, there will still be an election next year as called for in the constitution."

Which undermines all your rhetoric about your personal needs trumping democracy.

McGreevey, not that I expect you to care (or even notice my blog), but you are human garbage. You are the reason that Americans get so apathetic about government. And it seems there's nothing - public opinion, a sense of decency, or even calls from people in your own party - that will dissuade you from your selfish decision.