Whether justifying loyalty to an inflammatory pastor, erroneously claiming to have been dodging sniper fire upon arriving in Bosnia, or the ever-popular act of committing adultery, our politicians are far less scrupulous than my friends. That can’t be good.
David Paterson, now filling Eliot Spitzer’s sullied shoes, announced with pride he’d never used public funds for his sexual dalliances as if he deserves applause. Today’s scandal du jour is Detroit’s Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is the scandal du jour, whose text messages have become public domain. We’re at a point where politicians could preface every speech with, “Oops, my bad.”
My friends operate in a different moral arena. Sure, we may rip out an osso buco recipe from Gourmet Magazine at the dentist, play down past drug usage to our children and hire illegal aliens, but the issues we grapple with are less disreputable, things like:
- What are the rules for regifting?
- Does contributing to a private school entitle us to expect admission when we recommend our accountant’s kid?
- Should we sublet our apartment if the lease doesn’t allow it?
- Can we write an enthusiastic blurb for a book we don’t really like?
- Would anyone be hurt if we had a guest stay in the room we deduct as a home office?
- Must we include the couple who introduced us when inviting the new friends to dinner?
- What’s the harm of returning something we’ve worn for only a few hours?
- Are we irresponsible if we drive when we could take public transportation? Does the car have to be a Prius? And, of course, what do we do about fruit from Chile?