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February 07, 2015


Unsure if you ever seen the original House of Cards. It's on Netflix too and very good and in many ways better. Especially Stampers character. It's interesting to see how a lot was changed for American politics as well.

Evolutionary biology points us in one direction, as this article suggests: “Why Caesar’s Wife Must Be Above Suspicion: Mates Function As Honest Indicators of Status and Prestige.”

Then, there is what Plutarch cites in his history of Caesar:

“Caesar divorced Pompeia at once, but when he was summoned to testify at the trial, he said he knew nothing about the matters with which Clodius was charged. 9 His statement appeared strange, and the prosecutor therefore asked, "Why, then, didst thou divorce thy wife?" "Because," said Caesar, "I thought my wife ought not even to be under suspicion."

“Some say that Caesar made this deposition honestly; but according to others it was made to gratify the people, who were determined to rescue Clodius. 11 At any rate, Clodius was acquitted of the charge, the majority of the jurors giving their verdicts in illegible writing, in order that they might neither risk their lives with the populace by condemning him, nor get a bad name among the nobility by acquitting him.”

The trial dealt with an act of sacrilege by Clodius, to whose attentions Caesar” wife may or may not have been responsive. History, politics, and psychology teach us that we humans have progressed in only one area: technology. In every other respect we are as were our forbearers, as far back as written and oral tradition can trace. Pompeia was part of the fabric of the mantle of leadership Caesar wore.

His ability to lead and to keep power required the trust and support of the power structure in Rome. Even Kim Jong-un must keep up appearances. When you have lost the trust and the goodwill of those whom you seek to lead or in whose name you seek to govern, or have been given the trust to govern, then it matters little what really happened. Appearances are components of charisma and of governance.

The moral reputation of the leader is the magnet that attracts the trust of those governed. To have that reputation sullied erodes the credibility of the leader (as it does that of news anchors). And in politics, let an issue gain traction and it does not matter who you are: as they say, sling enough mud and some of it is bound to stick.

A component of tragedy occurs when you have failed to account for something, however seemingly trivial, that can come back to destroy you. If the Governor is motivated by love he will act in one way; if he is motivated by lust, then he will act in a second way. His quandary is complicated by his requirement to also act in the best interests of Oregon. Machiavelli would encourage Kitzhaber to place the interests of Oregon above his personal interests and would criticize him for failing to adequately vet Ms Hayes. Caesar would advise the governor as he testified in Plutarch: Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion.

People in Oregon knew about all the accusations before the election. I think this should wait for there to be actual criminal charges-- if there are any. It would be wrong of him to resign. The fact that he has an untrustworthy mate is his problem on a personal level unless it ended up impacting the state's business. That is up to an impartial investigation to determine. The Oregonian is not that group nor is Willamette Week. He though should be personally looking at how many other places she lied to him-- unless she didn't and he is the liar who knew about the other issues... Not good thoughts. He's still far better than the alternative in November-- and I don't want him stepping down unless out and out corruption happened (it even made Rachel Maddow along with the attack owl).

"People in Oregon knew about all the accusations before the election."

No... the news didn't break until weeks after the mail in ballots had been sent out. Many Oregoninans had already voted (even the dead ones) by then. And then as we crept toward election day, and the Governor was asked to provide documents and emails, he proudly said that they would not be available for weeks, (after the election was done).

Why does a political label on a person, make something that is illegal okay with you guys? Rain... they have already admitted they did things that were corrupt. Does that make it okay with you? It's okay because it was a Liberal that did it so it must be in the best interests of.... who.... the people... Bah. Who do you think was profiting from those deals? The guy in jeans and cowboy boots that just hired the best defense lawyer in Portland. That's reassuring. The Oregonian is the most Liberal paper in the state... They say he should resign. Lead Democrats in the legislature are saying he should step down. Of course the Reps are for him to quit but that's predictable. Why don't we lose these labels and just look at it as it is... Illegal instead of "how illegal"

You know... it's okay to realize that the guy you voted for isn't as good as you think he is. We "evolve" I think is the proper term. And if the real good he is doing for the State of Oregon is lining his pockets by having a conflict of interest helping make policy... That's Illegal.

I also feel conflicted about this. While visiting my son in Boston last year I heard Cylvia Hayes speak at a conference. She was very articulate and passionate about the potential for government to foster the well being of people, communities and the environment. This is the liberal ethos at its best. Being liberal doesn't put anyone above the law but it's hard to be sure what is the wrongdoing here (intentional or by mistake) and what is right wing witch hunt. It's a sorry mess and I'm sorry it's erupting over and distracting from issues I care about.

Do we know he did something wrong at this point or is it all hysteria, Dan? What I would like to know is what favors she got for her $$$$$s. We know she got paid. Did he then give contracts that rewarded those who attempted to influence her. When we know there is something concrete that he did in return for her advice or money, I will take this more seriously. I had heard about the possible ethics probe some time back. The alternative offered by Republicans was so abominable that Kitzhaber would have been elected anyway whether others had not heard the rumors or not.

Kitzhaber should have brought in a special prosecutor given that the Attorney General has her own conflict of interest regarding her husband, and the Secretary of State has plenty to gain by his resigning. The Democrats may well like having a far more liberal governor, I don't.

But if he did something for the money she got, then he likely will have a criminal consequence ahead and his troubles won't just involve staying as governor. Think Bob O'Donnell and the Chicago rep who is in prison right now.

The voters who want him out are mostly right wingers who never wanted him in. The Dems in the Oregon legislature maybe think they can get through more of their liberal agenda with Brown.

Me, being a moderate, am not happy about this, and went to bed thinking how sad that a man could destroy his life for a woman who manipulates and has no clear set of ethics-- beautiful or speaking nicely or not. I just hope he didn't actually let her dictate his policies but I am sure WW will be bringing that out if they have some proof. The interesting connection to how they might be getting that info could go back to who our Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum, is married to-- Richard Meeker, the publisher and co-owner of the Willamette Week. Does the plot thicken and is their pillow talk quite interesting these days? I know ours was last night as we thought through all we have been hearing and some of the dumb things our supposedly smart governor has done-- like firing staff who told him what she was up to. Nothing like how love can blind-- despite what he said. Worse, for him, is the likelihood that if he loses the governorship, she won't stick with him. She has always been out for her from her history and activities as Oregon's first lady-- kind of.

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