We’ll See You in Hell

There are in politics, as well as in books, Unforgivable Curses.

On January 24, 1992, Ricky Ray Rector was executed in Arkansas.

By all accounts, Rector was a Bad Man. One night in 1981, he killed someone in a nightclub. He then shot a cop in the back. Finally, he shot himself in the head.

Alas, that last shot sort of missed. Rector was left alive, but brain-damaged. It was as that brain-damaged shell that Governor Bill Clinton made a point of executing him, just so primary voters would know he was “tough on crime.”

We’ve never forgiven Clinton for that. Whatever his successes, whatever his other high crimes, misdemeanors, and dry-cleaning bills, we’ve never forgiven Clinton for his capacity to fry a man in his pursuit of the presidency.

On February 3, 1998, Karla Faye Tucker was executed in Texas.

By all accounts, Tucker was a Bad Woman. One night in 1983, during what was planned as a burglary, she ended up attacking the victim with a pickaxe. She also struck the victim’s companion, but an accomplice finished the job.

The details are even more grisly, something out of a Tarantino movie. Tucker was sentenced to death the following year.

And the year after that, she converted to Christianity.

Thirteen years later, on the eve of her execution, Tucker had become a cause célèbre. Newt Gingrich and Pat Robertson pleaded for clemency. So did the Pope. So did the brother of one of her victims.

But Governor George W. Bush, his eye on a presidential run, and no stranger to signing death warrants, ignored them all. Tucker Carlson would later report that Bush mocked her for an interview she gave to Larry King: “Please don’t kill me.”

Bush later committed a hundred-thousand crimes against humanity; yet, in the peculiar way the human mind works, that’s the one we find emblematic. That’s the one, standing in for all the rest, we find unforgivable.

The bigotry on display this election year, particularly against Muslims and Latinos, has been astounding. We’ve approached most of it from a dark satirical perspective, because, well, treating it with the anger and outrage it deserves is unhealthy, especially to cute furry creatures within reach.

But every so often, something slips through the net, and we can’t contain our anger. Meg Whitman lacks the power to sign death warrants, but she would be happy to ruin the life of her former housekeeper — a woman who worked in her home for nine years — if that’s what it takes to be elected governor of California.

Meg will lose. She can console herself with the millions of dollars she hasn’t spent on her folly. But she will no longer be a former head of eBay whom nobody knows. Meg Whitman will always be, as long as we live, an extremely wealthy woman who was willing to throw her housekeeper under the bus.

And for that, we will never forgive her.


Thankfully, it now appears that the voters of California will be throwing Whitman under the bus.

Like Carly Fiorina, Whitman was a multi-millionaire who decided the one thing she didn’t own yet was a Senate seat, so why not go out and buy one. It reaffirms my shaken faith in the electorate (of California, at least) that most people don’t think such a thing should be for sale.

@Serolf Divad:
yes, SD. a small measure of faith in that electorate and one of my pet peeves, campaign finance reform. we will hopey housekeepergate is her downfall.
too many seats are still for sale, though.

but noje…shrub and bubba DID get elected…

@Serolf Divad:
I’m not shocked. I’ve gone to school with people like eMeg and Carly, worked for them and occasionally had to tangle with them.

Nothing wrong with having ambition, but as with all things too much is, well, too much. I think that sharks in bloodlust are friendlier than many corporat execubots.

They’d sell their own lousy kids or destroy their own companies for a bigger bonus so a maid is nothing to them. In their minds what’s one miserable life compared to THEIR GLORY AND AMBITION!!!! BTW, it’s not really about money because they have more than they can spend. It’s about power with these people. Power is the ultimate currency and it drives them mad if they’re denied it.

They’ll rarely do the right thing. It’s about them. One of the unfortunate things about Barry’s election is that it gave people like eMeg and Carly and Sarah the idea that THEY CAN DO WHAT BARRY DID–someone who came out of nowhere to win the top job over the establishment. It appeals to Carly and eMeg and Sarah.

It’s fortunate that many of these corprat execubots are so transparent and clumsy to those not blinded by ideology or “tradition.”

Fast forward to 2007-2008. In his pursuit of the presidency, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson ends both cockfighting and the death penalty in this state.

Also in the run up to the 2008 race, Richardson calls a special session of the legislature specifically to enact mostly upper income tax cuts and to blow the surplus for a one-time rebate to taxpayers in a $250 million giveaway, because he had to be able to say on the campaign trail that he cut taxes for New Mexicans. Later, revenues plummeted and the state was in a big hole that required program cuts and hiring freezes. Size of the deficit: $250 million.

It was the Wild West here. Hot chicks would show up for employment at state agencies, which would have to scramble to find suitable slots and titles. Big givers to the presidential race got fat contracts. Bill’s hatchet man/chief of staff/former campaign manager shook people down. Bill bought a jet for the state that he could use to fly to Iowa and New Hampshire on a reimbursable basis. There was more than a whiff of corruption in the air. Administration appointments were considered then quickly pulled away.

Basically, Richardson trashed his administration’s legacy to run for president, dragging down his Lt. Gov. Diane Denish in the process and giving the GOP plenty of ammo for the race. Although Denish can be faulted for expecting to coast to office and ran accordingly, a loss next week would have to be laid at Bill Richardson’s feet. He fucked up the state to run for president and for that he cannot be forgiven.

Somewhere Wen Ho Lee laughs.

ETA: Wen Ho Lee, the security clumsy Chinese American physicist who was railroaded into jail by Bill R when he was energy secretary because he believed some really bad counter intel people that mistook him for a Chinese spy. Of course, it was later discovered that someone else (an ally… of sort) gave nuke designs to China.

I just wish I didn’t have to see her sMug face on the $100 bill.

Problem solved! Ain’t got no hundreds.

Tipper “Tipper” Gore had a listen to a Prince song, buddied up with James Baker’s wife and formed the PMRC witch hunt from which the only saving grace was hearing Frank Zappa and Jello Biafra teach us about the importance of the First Amendment. Meanwhile Al stood by, soaking up the Reagan-era glow of creeping government intrusion in our livesAmerican puritanism, already thinking about that first run for the presidency in 1988. That’s why I’ll never forgive him.

Nojo, I found eMeg unforgivable when she threw the gheyz who built her company under the bus in 2008 when she gave money to and supported Prop H8 as part of her nascent efforts to win the GOP nomination for Governor (even though she winked and nodded that she was actually just fine with the gheyz who worked for her and attended their weddings). The housekeeper is in good company.

@ManchuCandidate: No imagination. Can you imagine spending money so you can live in DC? Fuck that. Go buy a bunch of boats and fight pirates in the South China sea and live in Indonesia with your own staff of native chefs and musicians.

True too. No vision beyond what they see in the mirror or their daydream fantasy tickertape parade.

@FlyingChainSaw: I am interested in your views and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

@redmanlaw: Hey, at least he banned cockfighting and the death penalty, so those are two good things that came out of it.

@Nabisco: “I agree with Governor Bush.” Al Fucking Gore in the 2000 debates.

Fuck that guy.

@redmanlaw: Speaking of Shrub, he and Daddy Bush are both throwing out the first pitch at Game 4 of the World Series.

Meanwhile, the SFPD bomb squad has shut down the Peet’s down the street from my office because of a suspicious package and now have shut down the street that my office is on. Looks like the building across the street has been evacuated but nothing here yet. I blame the rival $tarbuck$.

@SanFranLefty: The bums are throwing out.

Avoid windows in case of flying glass.

@redmanlaw: But then I can’t sit at my desk and watch what’s going on!

@redmanlaw: That’s why I don’t blame Ralphie. Al screwed up the 2000 election all by himself.

@ManchuCandidate: I’m glad you brought up Wen Ho Lee. I heard his legal team speak. SMH

@JNOV: I have a reporter friend who HATES Bill Richardson for the Wen Ho Lee thing.

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