Ev­ery can­di­date must learn his past is never past

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary ‘it’s Not About Coal’ - BY WES­LEY PRU­DEN

What all our politi­cians need, if not nec­es­sar­ily de­serve, is a re­li­able statute of lim­i­ta­tions. Blam­ing a new­born male child, try­ing to get ac­cus­tomed to his cra­dle (which is not nearly as com­fort­able as the digs he just left), for steal­ing a randy glance at the babe in pink in the cra­dle next to him, should not pre­vent his run­ning for pres­i­dent of the United States three or four decades on.

Nev­er­the­less, that’s where we are, circa al­most 2020. The Ka­vanaugh con­fir­ma­tion hear­ings set the new stan­dard that it’s never too late to pun­ish a sin of the past, even if the sin didn’t hap­pen. He was ac­cused of ha­rass­ing a young woman at a party when they were in high school. She doesn’t re­mem­ber when it was, where it was, how she got there and how she got home or even whether she went home that night, and Mr. Ka­vanaugh doesn’t re­mem­ber it at all be­cause he says it never hap­pened. But it al­most pre­vented his tak­ing his place on the U.S. Supreme Court.

In our present day, no sin or short­com­ing is so far in the past that a man is en­ti­tled to for­get about it. That randy kid in the cra­dle had bet­ter mind his man­ners. It’s a mean and re­morse­less world he has just been born into.

Robert O’Rourke, bet­ter known as Beto and the lat­est Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial dreamer, was count­ing on a great open­ing day last week in Iowa and spent the day apol­o­giz­ing for a “joke” mock­ing him­self. He praised his wife, Amy, at sev­eral cam­paign stops for hav­ing raised their chil­dren “some­times with my help.”

The harpies pounced. Iowans chuck­led but the “joke” of­fended harpie world (ev­ery­thing al­ways does) as a re­mark “in­sen­si­tive” to the chal­lenges faced by sin­gle moth­ers. In­stead of telling the harpies to pipe down and get a life, as a pol would surely want to do but would not dare, Beto of­fered the most ab­ject, servile and hang-dog apol­ogy for some­thing that needed no apol­ogy since Barack Obama’s in­fa­mous apol­ogy tour of the Mus­lim world to beg for­give­ness for Amer­ica’s sins and short­com­ings.

Beto dropped to his knees to beg par­don of ev­ery­body ev­ery­where for his white priv­i­lege, though no one had ac­cused him of be­ing a white boy. “Not only will I not say [that joke] again, but I’ll be more thought­ful go­ing for­ward in the way that I talk about our mar­riage and … the truth of the crit­i­cism that I have en­joyed white priv­i­lege.”

Sadly, there was more. He tried to ex­plain two ar­rests when he was a younger man, one for drunk driv­ing and the other for break­ing and en­ter­ing. He ap­parently was just no darn good, though he isn’t ready yet to put it that way. That was what he was try­ing to say in “a ham-handed way” with the re­mark about the way he aban­doned his chil­dren to their mother’s care. But harpies are not fa­mous for their ap­pre­ci­a­tion of hu­mor or wit.

Bernie San­ders may be get­ting fair warn­ing that he may not have as many peo­ple look­ing out for him this time. Tapes and printed in­ter­views are emerg­ing from the archives of Bernie’s past as a so­cial­ist that only Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez, the fa­mous “AOC,” could envy or ap­pre­ci­ate.

“I fa­vor pub­lic own­er­ship of util­i­ties, banks and ma­jor in­dus­tries,” he told the Burling­ton [Ver­mont] Free Press in 1976. Like AOC, he is par­tic­u­larly out to set­tle scores with the oil and en­ergy in­dus­tries. “It is ex­tremely clear,” he wrote in an open let­ter to his sen­a­tor in 1973, “that these [en­ergy] com­pa­nies, owned by a hand­ful of bil­lion­aires, have far too much power over the lives of Amer­i­cans to be left in pri­vate hands. The oil in­dus­try, and the en­tire en­ergy in­dus­try, should be owned by the pub­lic and used for the pub­lic good — not for ad­di­tional prof­its for the bil­lion­aires.”

Like most of us, Bernie of­ten dis­cov­ers that he talks too much; a flap­ping tongue can get a man in trou­ble. When he be­came a U.S. sen­a­tor he be­gan to back away from some of the fool­ish things he wished he hadn’t said.

But in the age of the In­ter­net, where ev­ery burp and hic­cup is recorded and archived (why no pun­dit in his right mind would ever run for any­thing) a can­di­date can never be sure that one of those burps and hic­cups will re­turn from the past to bring him se­vere heart­burn. The man who would be king (or even pres­i­dent) faces the hard re­al­ity that there’s no statute of lim­i­ta­tions. In a rea­son­able world there would be, but none of us lives there.

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