Monday, March 17, 2008

Deja vu All Over Again

Watching David Patterson be sworn in as governor of New York earlier today, I'm sure I'm not the only Connecticut resident who had flashbacks to July 2004 when M. Jodi Rell ascended to the top office in the state in somewhat similar circumstances. Yes, John Rowland's crimes were significantly different than Eliot Spitzer's, but the bottom line was the same -- an abuse of power and office, a reprehensible lapse of personal judgment and ethics, and an irreparable violation of the public trust.

Today, Albany is full of optimism that the new leadership will be more ethical and upstanding than the prior administration -- much like the Connecticut legislature was four years ago. They are looking for a fresh start, a clean slate, and are hoping that the new governor can lead them to better days. Honestly, I don't know much about Mr. Patterson -- up until a week ago, who did? -- but from what I've seen of him and read about him, he certainly seems to possess the tools and integrity to succeed. I certainly hope he does.

I guess one of the things sort of nagging in the back of my mind is that as sure as I'm typing these words, I have a feeling that it's only a matter of time before we're being dragged into the next political drama where another elected official has taken advantage of his office for personal gain. Then it'll be another couple of days of denials, a media frenzy, public apologies, a forced resignation and the next new hope stepping up. I don't understand why it keeps happening over and over again, I just know that it does.

Yes, history shows us we never learn from history. But is it being naive to hope that maybe we might?

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