Yesterday’s fawning over Prisoner # 03128-095 serves as a useful reminder that work remains very incomplete in remaking Louisiana into a state where good policy and putting people before special interests go hand in hand.
Better known as former Gov. Edwin Edwards, the newly married ex-convict got a big bash thrown in honor of his 84th birthday (this week), which he once said he never thought he would live to see as a free man. Attendees had to pay for the honor (with some giving sheepish explanations as to why they did), and about 600 of them did at $250 a pop. (Where that money is going I haven’t been able to find out, but perhaps to help him pay off his share of the over $2.5 million he and his co-conspirators illegally gained has he was sentenced to do.)
Predictably, during it, in referring to his imprisonment Edwards took the same cowardly approach as did fellow attendee and publisher of his biography, Prisoner #03312-095, trying to maintain some kind of innocence.
He blatantly lied, for example, when he claimed he was not guilty of sales of public goods (licenses to operate gambling), as anybody who read the appellate court opinion on the case easily could disprove; for the record, Edwards was convicted for extortion, mail and wire fraud, money laundering, making false statements, and racketeering violations. Or he tried to claim it had nothing to do with the people in Louisiana, when in fact any crime is a crime against the people as it disrupts society and law and order, and, at a political level, damaged the state by showing corruption in government processes that he and his associates engineered. Only sniveling, selfish, and immature losers refuse to own up to their harmful acts and ask for forgiveness, and they offend decent people when they try to claim their innocence or laugh it off, as Edwards has tried to do.
Edwards has paid his debt to society, and should be respected for that. But anything beyond that, such as celebrating the life of a debased felon in such a lavish and public way, shows lack of good judgment and character. Rather than celebrate this pitiful testament, it should be shunned. That so many do not demonstrates their own personal weaknesses, attracted to Edwards precisely because, as noted previously, he has made a career out of making people feel good about their own weaknesses instead of striving to be better individuals.
Unfortunately, there are too many people involved in Louisiana public affairs who would rather cater to their own interests rather than the people’s, and a good portion of them must have made their ways to these festivities as the numbers indicate. Which means those who think the opposite must remain vigilant to ensure that these others, who increasingly are finding themselves out of electoral power, continue to find their retarding hold on the state slipping further.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 09:25