'The Monetizing of the Public Man'
The Washington Post today published this marvelous guide to one of America's oldest stories: how public rectitude often eventually turns to private gain in the nation's capital. Clinton Defense Secretary William Cohen, a former Republican Senator from Maine, was always considered--and always considered himself--among the most stubbornly ethical men in Washington. As a young lawmaker, he voted to impeach his fellow Republican Nixon, and years later, Clinton turned to him to head the Pentagon, universally interpreted as a signal that the former draft dodger would keep hands off the military by putting a person of impeccable stature in charge. Now, Cohen has become that most tiresome type: the buckraking Beltway bandit, an oily lobbyist, trading on his gold-plated Rolodex to undo a lifetime of his legislative work by selling to the highest bidders access to his old contacts. And in the process, he has undone his sterling reputation in a small fraction of the time it took to build it. How sad.