Monday, February 2, 2009

Rod Blagojevich: When the Ends Justify the Means

Once again I have a new post up over at Global Comment

It is official, Governor R Blagojevich has been convicted in the Senate despite an impassioned plea. Listening to his speech the other day, I noticed that the one theme that he kept returning to was that the ends justify the means.

He continually cited what he deemed to be work that he had done for the public good, e.g. procuring cheap prescription drugs from Canada, despite the fact that he knew that this was an illegal activity. In this instance to Blagojevich, helping the poor and the struggling was infinitely more important than following the letter of the law.

“I have done nothing wrong,” he said repeatedly in his thirty minute address. Note that he did not say that he had not performed an illegal act. His defence completely relied upon the listener to judge from a position of morality, rather than legality.

Many breathe a sigh of relief now that he is the former Governor. He has been deemed an embarrassment and therefore did not receive a single vote in his favour. Instead of appearing at his trial, Blagojevich spent the week making the rounds on talk shows and various networks. From the very beginning, he asserted that he would not receive a fair trial and that the outcome had already been decided. It is my belief that his outreach was an attempt to sway public opinion in his favour and by so doing, leave a legacy whereby he was perceived as a victim of political manoeuvring rather than a criminal.

Every time Blagojevich shows up on my television screen, I cannot help but to compare him to a used vacuum cleaner salesman. He reeks of a man waiting to pull a scam; however, I should point out that this feeling is elicited from me by most politicians. As I watched the vote that would end his political career, I could not help but think about how self righteous politics is to begin with.

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