In the past few days, as Rod Blagojevich has continued to scare Illinois and the rest of the country by not resigning as governor, there's been talk about the possibility that the prosecutor in the case, Patrick Fitzgerald, may coax Blagojevich into resignation with a plea agreement. I've wondered how that back room discussion would go.
Fitz, loud aside to aides: "I could put him away for 20 bleeping years! I'm sitting on something too bleeping valuable here for me to get nothing bleeping worth it!"
Random aide: "He should bleeping resign if he wants to get out in 10."
Blagojevich: "Wait a minute! Ten? Are you kidding me? My ability to appoint a senator of my choosing to Illinois is only worth a reduction to 10 bleeping years to you? You're bleeping crazy!"
Fitz: "What would you say to bleeping resigning, in return for 10 years with a chance of probation in six?"
Blagojevich: "It's sounds to me like, I bleeping resign, and all I get is a bleeping thank you. Bleep off!"
There are people out there who are shocked that Blagojevich could have thought of committing such a crime, and I'm with them. How could anyone get the idea that something as important as a Senate seat should be haggled over as if it were as trivial as charges brought against an accused felon? I mean, we don't live in that kind of society, where everything and anything is up for sale to the highest bidder. We only sell justice. So how did this sick, sick, man ever think to do such a thing?
Imagine what kind of world we'd be living in if everybody thought the way Blagojevich does. For one thing, we would have mass homelessness, as people who couldn't pay for housing at inflated prices would be told that's just bleeping tough. "We've got something valuable here, and we're not giving it away for bleeping nothing."
Fortunately, we don't live in a world where "You've got to pay to play" is the driving mentality.
Just last week I was strolling down Third Avenue when a nice man stepped out of a grocery store and stuffed 10 freshly purchased lottery tickets into my coat pocket, saying, "You look like you haven't had much luck lately." I showed him my bleeping appreciation for the free gift. Of course, the tickets were all losers (I haven't had much luck lately), but it was the thought that counted. If that good man had been like Blagojevich I wouldn't even had got the thought. I would have had to pay for those tickets!
I just made that story up merely to represent the many good selfless deeds that happen every day in our society, that show how far out of step Blagojevich truly is. I'm sure I could make up many, many, more examples of that kind, which would all be equally as representative.
If everyone thought like Blagojevich, colleges would cut costs by hiring more and more part-time teachers so as to avoid paying them benefits, and then turn around and charge thousands of dollars more every year for tuition on the theory that education raises potential income, making the colleges want "a piece of the action." That would be wrong.
Maybe what he was thinking was that if there were going to be an election for the Senate seat in question, the candidates would each have to put up millions in campaign expenses, and the state would have to pay for the election itself. So by simply appointing one of them for a few hundred thou or a cushy appointment of his own, he'd be saving everyone a bundle. So he would have thought, maybe, "I'm just doing a valuable service, and charging a fair exchange rate."
It's a bleeping good thing that kind of thinking is rare, or thousands of us would be freezing our bleeping asses off living in the streets right now.