Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Too Much Unforgivable Greed

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Too Much Unforgivable Greed

Article excerpt

It wasn't Time magazine's week, appearing on Monday with a story on Sen. Robert Torricelli headlined, "Does Scandal Really Matter?" This, just at the time the senator was pulling out of his reelection race because plunging poll numbers indicated that, yes, scandal did matter.

In his misty-eyed statement, the senator said, "Don't feel badly for me," in effect, "Don't cry for me, Jersey City." But then he went on to ask, in a tone of bewilderment, "When did we become such an unforgiving people?"

Most public officials in the past, caught in ethical or sexual scandals, could blame political enemies for the punishment they received. House Speakers Jim Wright, ousted, and Newt Gingrich, fined, for financial irregularities; Sen. Bob Packwood forced to resign and President Bill Clinton impeached for scandals involving sex.

But the case of Mr. Torricelli is different, punished not by peers or opponents, but by a public increasingly incensed at the sheer presumption of powerful people. …

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