No sympathy for public office thieves

There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people in this country with credit far, far worse than mine, who can get anything they want, simply by signing for it. I know this because the advertisements are everywhere. And my credit is nothing compared to that of an official in the Capital of the United States.

If you want a new car: just sign then drive it away, no money down, no first month’s payment. If you want a used car: same deal, just go to one of those dealers who boasts, “Everybody who walks in, drives out.”

If you want a computer, with hundreds of dollars worth of free software, a free digital camera, a free HDTV, all you need is an active checking account. Why anyone can even get cash for his or her other “needs” simply by calling a toll-free phone number.

VISA card? No problem. Smart phone? No problem. If someone in this country wants a “thing,” any-thing, there is a legitimate business operator who can get it for you. Just sign on the dotted line.

So, for the life of me I can’t understand why an elected public official, who earns upwards of $170,000–PART-TIME!–would have any reason to violate his or her public trust by stealing money in order to get some “things.”

I’m referring to disgraced D.C. Council member Harry Thomas Jr. of Ward 5. He got himself a luxury SUV, a motorcycle, and some trips with money he stole from the D.C. government. Money that was intended to be used to encourage young people in his ward to grow up and avoid lives of crime. Don’t make me laugh.

Didn’t anybody tell Harry Thomas Jr. in whatever Elected-Officer-Orientation-Classes he must have had to attend, that it would be far easier for him, than for the Ordinary Joes of the world to get anything he wanted just by signing for it. Why if he had gotten a part-time job at a big-box store as a common laborer, he could have qualified to get a car or a motorcycle or go on trips, just by signing his name.

If he had gotten a second job and worked and lived like an ordinary person he could have qualified for all the things he’s now going to have to go to prison for wanting so badly. If he’d done that, then he could have used his part-time D.C. Council salary to pay for everything, and nobody would have been the wiser, least of all the U.S. Attorney.

Did Harry Thomas Jr. ever wonder what was so desirable about his career choice that would make a super-rich guy like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (and he’s not the only one, who can buy all the things your heart could desire), spend a king’s ransom in the amount of $70 million in order to win his elected office? It seems unlikely that he would be able to steal enough from the city to pay himself back. So why?

So what is that Michael knows that Harry doesn’t know about public service?

Not even in the barbershops around town, where guys come in all day, “boosting” everything from toiletries, to socks and clothing, to DVDs of the latest movies now showing in the theaters, not even in the barbershops is there much (if any) sympathy for Thomas, because he was stealing money that was intended for children.

It boggles the mind.

No wonder the New England snob, Mitt Romney can boast about the good advice he received from his snob father George, who ran for President himself 44 years ago: “He had good advice to me. He said, ‘Mitt, never get involved in politics if you have to win an election to pay a mortgage.'”

I guess that extends to buying a motorcycle or an SUV. Which leaves us in the position where only the wealthy would be eligible to govern us. The dictionary defines that as a “plutocracy,” where the wealthy class rules. It seems to me that this is what the Europeans tried during the Middle Ages, which led to a bunch of bloody rebellions and what not.

Just like there is no sympathy for the return of rule by the wealthy class, there’s certainly no sympathy, and there can be no place for, governments led by petty criminals who seemingly get into office so they can get to the public trough in order to syphon money to themselves, above their generous salaries, in order to get some “things…” things that anybody can get these days, just by signing his or her name.

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