August 29th, 2007 05:36 EST
Contrition As Practiced by Michael Vick and Senator Larry Craig
I am Sorry--that I plead guilty!
High profile Americans in trouble are a diverse lot when it comes to making public amends and spinning the facts in order to minimize their losses. Such people are also fascinating to observe.
Take Michael Vick. On August 27, the NFL star quarterback, who in 2004 signed a contract worth $130 million, owned up to his mistakes like a man and apologized for egregious crimes against man's best friend.
Along the way, Vick claims to have found Jesus. If the Atlanta Falcons have their way, the young man has lost $22 million.
Looking at the bright side, perhaps Jesus can help Vick recover from that devastating financial kick in the pants.
Who knows, with Jesus' help Vick may be to rebuild his wealth to around $300 or $400, provided he works two jobs, seven days a week, for two or three years after he gets out of the slammer.
On the other side of the contrition compendium, we have a distinguished member of the United States Senate. That would be the once honorable Larry Craig, Republican from Idaho, who was elected to the most deliberative body in the world in 1990.
Among his more unique accomplishments, Senator Craig was arrested in June of 2007, allegedly for lewd behavior in an airport bathroom. Men's bathroom, that is.
And how did this powerful United States senator handle this difficult and embarrassing situation?
To begin with, Craig did NOT claim to find Jesus. Nor did the beleaguered senator claim to be comforted by Mohammed, Buddha, or by the reincarnation of Mister Rogers.
Remember the guy is from Idaho and dudes from Idaho are TOUGH.
Which helps explain why Senator Larry Craig said the following about his cruising episode on the floor of the men's lavatory:
"At the time of this incident, I complained to the police that they were misconstruing my actions," he said. "I should have had the advice of counsel in resolving this matter. In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty. I was trying to handle this matter myself quickly and expeditiously."
Exactly, Senator, but next time, get a lawyer AND Jesus, immediately!
Of course, things would be entirely different if Craig were a Democrat.
To begin with, Craig would have been lauded by the Democrat leadership for his courage and dignity in pursuing an “alternative lifestyle.” Craig would have been encouraged to come out of the closet and openly champion his unique sexuality in that hostile, homophobic environment otherwise known as the U.S. Senate.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would congratulate Craig for his “Special commitment to diversity and humanity in the hugely complex world of contemporary human relationships.”
Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would have stopped campaigning for a terrorist bill of rights long enough to thank Craig for being an ideal role model for future Democrat politicians. “It would have been easy to forsake his inner child when things started to unravel,” Reid would have whispered on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
All in all, Democrat Senator Craig would have been far more popular, influential, and powerful after his adventures in that men's lavatory than before.
In the parlance of Washington liberals, Craig would have finally “arrived.”