Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"love notes" argh

Without outing myself too much (as to where I live), I live within AM radio hearing-distance of Dallas. So I hear some of the Dallas news from time to time.

Something lately that's appalled me: congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson allegedly (or not-so-allegedly, apparently she's apologized for doing so) funneled money supposed to be for low-income scholarships to family members.

Okay, another bit of "I'm in Politics, so I have Privilege" attitude. I suppose it's not surprising any more.

What gets me, though, is her supporters: instead of accepting that she did wrong, or calling for her to make it right (though apparently she is going to do so now, after having been caught, though it's not clear if the scholarships are going to be rescinded or if she's going to repay out of her own funds, however she may have gotten them), they called for "sending her love notes" to "let her know how much we appreciate her!"

This is just another thing that makes me furious. File it in with the "Oh, so you saved money and bought less house than you could possibly afford? Fine, then you can bail out the people who bought big mansions they couldn't" or the "You're being frugal? Great! Hand over that money so we can give it to politicians who can't be" attitudes.

I think of all the people who work hard, who are honest, and who get mostly trouble for their efforts - all the volunteer workers I know who have to put up with complaints and stuff. Who never get thanked. Who probably would value a "love note" (and yes, I've occasionally sent 'em.)

(And yes, part of this is sour grapes: 99% of the tiny amount of feedback I get is negative. I didn't do something right, I didn't do something to someone's unspoken standards, I didn't do "enough." Or students take issue with how tough I am. Or I'm "mean" because I won't accept papers 3 weeks late. Or whatever. I know, I need to just suck it up, but it gets WEARING to only hear when you've screwed up and having to assume that no feedback = you're doing OK.)

And yet, someone who essentially defrauded some of her own constituents, gets such rabid and unthinking support. I guess this is how people that the rest of the country looks at and goes, "they're so corrupt, how can they possibly still be in office?" manage. Or how cheating businessmen prosper. Or whatever: there are enough people willing to overlook the big moral failings* because they're gettin' the pork they love so much.

(*In a totally different camp would be someone who screwed up and was truly repentant, and did what they could to make it right. That person I'd be willing to forgive and perhaps even give another chance to. But it seems so many people these days - in any field - who are corrupt, they're so busy spinning and making excuses and blaming others that you never even hear a "sorry" come out of their mouths.)

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