18 April 2012

Plan Colombia: will the Secret Service scandal spread?

Objectively speaking, everyone should be in agreement on the need for a thorough investigation of the Secret Service antics in Colombia during the recent regional summit. Any dealings with prostitutes by the people charged with protecting the President have the potential to compromise his or national security. Republicans have no less reason than Democrats to demand an investigation, though I see no special reason for the news media to make news of comments from Mitt Romney -- whose position is influenced by the fact that he now enjoys Secret Service protection as well. Yet while I want the matter investigated as much as anyone does, I can't help suspecting the motives of some people in the Republican party and the news media. I can't help believing that people in both groups are waiting, if not hoping, for another shoe to drop. While the scandal seems to boil down to the agents themselves having a wild party, it's easy in our conspiratorial age, and given how power worked in the past, to imagine that not all the hookers involved were intended for the agents' pleasure, if you get my drift. Wouldn't it be somebody's dream come true if the prostitutes could be linked directly to the President? It may be terribly unlikely, but we live in an age when irrational hopes are encouraged. At the least, I'm sure that Republicans will find a way to blame the President for the lax morals or lax discipline the agents apparently displayed. If some are hoping for more, it's fair to say that Democrats would feel the same way had this happened during a Republican administration. Probably no one will admit to hoping that this scandal will grow, but everyone remembers the fate of Gov. Spitzer in New York -- a rising star seemingly destined to run for President whose political career was ruined by his dalliances with prostitutes. I prove my own cynicism by bringing this up, I suppose, but I'd rather be a cynic than a prophet in this case.

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