What is it about this state that makes people who should know better want to celebrate dishonest rogues who betray the peoples’ trust?
Now that he’s out in the community in a restricted fashion, Prisoner #03128-095 finds himself still fêted by certain people of ignorance or who hold especially low standards. If it’s not some bucolic gathering of the hoi polloi it’s an urban recreation of past glories by the haute bourgeoisie.
But the ignorant nor sycophants explain why the nonprofit Louisiana Political Museum would induct knowingly into its Hall of Fame a scurrilous individual. (At least #03128-095, known at the time of his induction in the inaugural class of 1993 as former Gov. Edwin Edwards, had not yet been sent to prison.) That’s what the institution plans to do this week on behalf of Prisoner #03312-095.
It’s not unprecedented for the group as a felon, Edmund Reggie, gained entrance some years back although he never entered the prison system even after his conviction. Still, it’s a bad habit to get into, especially with a figure of low character like #03312-095.
Known before his imprisonment for lying to federal agents as former Insurance Commissioner Jim Brown, particularly reprehensibly he refuses to own up to the fact that he violated Louisianans by his conduct in office. (He beat the rap on several other more serious charges of malfeasance in office related to his conviction.) Instead of apologizing to the state he wounded, he has maintained his innocence and spins a fantastic tale of conspiracy to try to explain away his criminal behavior – despite the fact that the courts consistently upheld his conviction. In this way, he expects to be welcomed back into society as if he did nothing wrong and can escape the shame he deserves for his betrayal of Louisiana that only can be undone by apology.
While it’s recognized that the figures named are there because of the impact they had on politics (or in its reporting) in the state, there should be some standard of decency attached. How can someone who committed a crime against the state’s people be considered to have the basic meritorious fiber in their being that is implied by presence in a “Hall of Fame?”
This exceptionally must be the case when considering this kind of institution. Yes, there were sports figures in their various Halls of Fame who weren’t nice people, who even broke the law in the most distasteful of ways, yet the achievements for which they garnered recognition were in areas unrelated to such matters of conduct. (Even so, they may still be disqualified in the minds of those charged with their selection.) But the essence of valorous politicians about which people should feel proud and wish to emulate, even if they disagree with his policy preferences, is that they do not bring disrepute onto their offices.
By his refusal to admit his mistakes and, mimicking the very thing that brought himself down, in trying to spin a falsehood as fact, #03312-095 has brought disrepute onto the state and revealed questionable character. This should disqualify him from any kind of celebratory status, and the organization that ignores this does discredit to itself. To honor somebody who soiled state politics without remorse give the wrong idea about what we expect out of our politicians and only ends up doing the same to you.
Posted by Jeff Sadow at 07:30