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HA, HA, HA!!!! Robert Sheridan bobsheridan As a matter of fact, when Clinton was having his celebrated Monica problems, we did talk about it here and the debate raged. I do recall remarking to the effect that too big a deal was being made about it, that the Europeans, esp. the French, would have shrugged it off as insignificant human weakness having nothing to do with running the world, etc., etc. Still think it was a whole lot about not much, but it sure ruined his presidency, just like the hostages in Iran ruined Jimmy Carter's.

Rudy's a guy who rose to the top by being superhuman. He was the altar boy, the son of a police family, the lawyer, the prosecutor, the political star. No sinner he.

Rudy thrived on telling others how to live, and how not to live. What makes his current predicament look like the Challenger disaster, exploding live on TV, is that his stage persona and his real-life persona have diverged. Not suddenly-diverged, but suddenly-publicly.

Now the purists and ideologues, who I usually associate with membership in Rudy's party, have to face up to the reality. Their Newt Gingriches and Rudy Giulianis have feet of clay. They're as human as the guy on the receiving end of the Infamous Monica Caper, the guy they pilloried, impeached, and publicly disgraced in front of his family and the world.

It would be better, people being as they are, to drop the Moral Bandwagon from the Political Parade. It runs over too many people from both sides. But it's so attractive for so many, especially those who haven't yet been tempted, or caught, to hop on and wave their shaming finger at the rest of humanity.

Eventually their turn comes.

We want our leaders to have "character," we say. Horsesh*t. When you really need a leader, character is the least of your worries. You need someone who can get you the result you need.

Character is what we argue about when not much is going on.

Suppose we make a list with two columns: A: Effective leaders with no character, or terrible character, or who were attractive to members of the opposite sex and enjoyed it; and B: Effective leaders with great character, or leaders who had no known involvement with members of the opposite, or any, sex, apart from their spouse. I'll give you extra room for Column A.

I'm gonna put Slobodan Milosevic in Column B, because he seems happily married to his wife and I think she'd castrate him with a kitchen knife if he so much as looked at another woman.

Lemme see your lists.


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