I literally live inside the beltway so I have in all likelihood been overexposed to politics. I find it amusing that Monica Lewinsky resurfaced recently, and in Canada of course they can’t get enough of the endless antics of Rob Ford. But Ford is hardly original! I’d like to remind everyone what a real political scandal should look like.
By way of background, and not as a digression: One of my favorite historical figures is Grigori Rasputin, the Russian monk who some people bitterly believe led to the demise of the Romanov dynasty. I personally think the onset of the 20th century led to the demise of the Romanov dynasty, because things like dynasties and empires sort of went out of style, but admittedly, Rasputin didn’t help.
I find Rasputin fascinating not just because of his influence over the Tsarina, but because of the herculean series of efforts required by his assassins to finally knock him off. Stories vary, but in most versions Rasputin was poisoned with a huge dose of cyanide to no effect, then shot four times. Dead yet? Not at all. He rose again, and was then beaten and finally thrown in the river. An autopsy of his body showed that he was still alive when he went in the water, and actually died of drowning. This was a guy who knew how to make a comeback.
So even though he hasn’t been popular of late, if you want a real deal, juicy political scandal look no farther than Marion Barry, because no one, no matter how hard they try, can keep Barry down. Barry was the Mayor of DC from 1979-1991. Even though he was super busy being Mayor of (at the time) the murder capital of the world, he found a little “me time” to unwind. For example, he was videotaped smoking crack cocaine with a rent-by-the-hour lady friend in 1990. In the infamous crack bust, Barry repeatedly puts the blame exactly where it belongs: “Bitch set me up.”
Barry went to federal prison, but when he came out he immediately ran for a council seat under the slogan “He May Not Be Perfect, But He’s Perfect for D.C.” He became DC’s Mayor again from 1995-1999 and over the years has held a variety of elected offices, all the while continuing to allegedly lie, cheat and steal. Not his fault, mind you, it’s just that there are a lot of bitches out there who will set you up to make it look like you are snorting coke, drinking to excess, evading income taxes, and seeking the company of prostitutes.
I’m not sure exactly why this was on my mind this morning, but on a sunny summer day in DC, when other people contemplate jogging and bike rides and gardening and whatever other crap all those cheerful outdoors-y types love, I have to find better ways to occupy my time.