Wednesday, July 29, 2009

In Which I Struggle With Intellectual Integrity

Crap. Did you see Rachel's awesome interview with Alcee Hastings (D-FL) tonight on DADT? His arguments against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" were cogent, and well presented, and most importantly, he's willing to speak out. Vehemently. Unusual in Congress these days. But since last night, when he was mentioned on TRMS, I have had this niggling thought. The name Alcee Hastings rings some sort of bell for me. So I Googled. And I remembered. In the early '80s, when I wasn't an ex-pat yet, Mr. Hastings was a judge in South Florida, who was considered so corrupt he was that he was synonymous with moral debasement in a city that breathes it. If you are corrupt enough to get the attention of South Floridians, you are bad. Really bad. He was impeached.

So, as I mentioned, this was 25 years ago or more. I am all for letting this slide, because he's on my side now, and in a big, courageous way. But, I didn't let Sen. Sessions slide on his racist comments from approximately the same time period. So, reluctantly, I feel it is only fair to hold Rep. Hastings responsible for his past actions, the same way I do with conservatives who have a past they would prefer to disavow. Or, alternatively, I vow to let those with whom I disagree slide on their unsavory past. Which I don't plan to do. So here I am, outing a man who I now admire, as a man with a very unsavory past. So, I write this in order that I not be hypocritical. But...I am also very willing to believe in this particular person's redemption.

I hated writing this post. Sorry to pee in everybody's Wheaties.

Clearing the mental palate:


  1. Yea, he was awesome tonight. His thoughts were clear and made sense.

    Thanks for pointing out his past, I didn't know that. I think its okay to have knowledge of his past while also admiring him for what he does now. There's a lot of politicans that have done some icky things but have also done some good, like Eliot Spitzer. He was a hypocrite, for sure - fighting crime than also sleeping with postitutes but he really understood Wallstreet, and did scare those guys. So yea, I know it's a difficult line to walk but it can be possible to admire and address the icky stuff too :P

  2. Thanks Sabrina. Still felt icky to write it. He was so awesome tonight. Sigh.

  3. That's politics, man. Seriously, good on him for speaking out on this, but good on you for being honest about his background.

  4. It's true, Alcee has taken up a banner to promote the national resolution to 'don'taskdon'ttell' ... but ya gotta know...this cat is trea slippery, still. I can remember his kangaroo court and the screw up policies he's still working here in offshore drillin. He's for it, then he isn't. There are quite a few of these flip flops in jacket.

    But I do applaud his efforts on behalf of my community within the military.

    good post!