- Playing politics April 8
During an interview with the Monroe News Star Monday night, Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) said he "doesn't intend to resign" despite the release of a video showing him kissing a woman who isn't his wife.
McAllister, who ran as a sort of "family values" candidate, has apologized. But beneath the obvious observations about hypocrisy and betrayal, etc., the incident — and his stated intention to remain in office — raise some interesting thoughts and questions.
First, I'm reminded of how important local newspapers are when it comes to holding politicians accountable. In this instance, it was the Ouachita Citizen that first published the incriminating video. A few months ago, it was the Bergen Record that broke the Chris Christie "Bridgegate" story. What happens when these papers go away?
Second, what should we make of McAllister's decision not to resign? Without knowing much about his re-election prospects — and without making any sort of value judgments — it occurs to me that politicians who stubbornly fight (think Bill Clinton) probably have a better chance of rehabilitating their image than those who "do the honorable thing" and resign in disgrace.
Winston Churchill once famously observed that "nations that go down fighting, rise up again; those that surrender tamely are finished." For better or worse, I sometimes think the same is true of politicians.- -
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Chuck Hagel was a huge mistake
- Want to eliminate the scourge of frat culture? Lower the drinking age.
- 5 quick things you can do today to boost your creativity
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- What would it take for humans to build a settlement on Mars?
- It's official: The religious right is calling it quits
- Obama just kneecapped Jeb Bush and Chris Christie's 2016 prospects
- Yes, the Obama administration's green loans are unprofitable. They should be.
- Why we gossip, according to science
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
Subscribe to the Week