Good Old American Political Corruption . . .
I sometimes think that America has the most colorful corrupt politicians, and after reading Albert R. Hunt's column for the International Herald Tribune, "In politics, it's theater of the absurd" (June 21, 2010), I believe that my opinion is possibly well-grounded:
In Louisiana, even after the departure of Huey (Kingfish) Long and his brother "Uncle Earl," there was Governor Edwin Edwards, who once declared he would lose his job only if he was "found in bed with a dead girl or live boy." After he was acquitted in one criminal trial, it was revealed that some members of the jury had stolen towels from the hotel where it had been sequestered. Mr. Edwards concluded that he had been judged by a "jury of my peers." He now resides at a federal correctional institution.And well he should reside there, even if he wasn't "found in bed with a dead girl or live boy," for he was judged guilty -- perhaps not by his peers -- of 'dubious' financial transactions.
Edwards was known to be something of a Lothario, in addition to his financial peccadillos, but he was also notable as an early supporter of civil rights for African-Americans, and when he ran against former Ku Klux Klan member David Duke in 1991, I recall him quipping, "The only thing we have in common is that we both have been wizards beneath the sheets." Let the reader understand.
If you want to read more about Edwards, there's of course some 'information' at Wikipedia, but if you've heard enough of him and prefer to read a quick and amusing account of other canny and corrupt American politicians, you can find Mr. Hunt's column online at The New York Times, albeit under a different, though perhaps even more fitting, headline: "Kooky Politics Make for Entertaining Races" (June 20, 2010).
Mr. Hunt puts some of the current crop of kooky politicians into a context wherein they can be correctly judged . . . by a jury of their peers, apparently.