Greitens has been at the center of a number of controversies in recent days. He was accused of sexual misconduct and blackmail by a woman with whom he had an extramarital affair. (He admitted to the affair but denied the blackmail claims.)
Then, Greitens was accused of misusing a charity donor list from a veterans charity Greitens had founded. Greitens was accused of using the charity list for political fund-raising, which is a major no-no. He was indicted on a felony computer-tampering charge as a result of that incident.
Greitens was also indicted on a felony invasion of privacy charge, although that particular charge has been dropped. Even Missouri Republicans had abandoned him, with Missouri state legislators announcing their plans for a special legislative session to address possible discipline against the governor.
No doubt that was the legislature’s way of getting back at Greitens for his inflammatory criticisms of their behavior. In politics you can always shift the blame to somebody else, but eventually you’re going to be that somebody else yourself. Eric Greitens has had to learn that rule the hard way.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner released a statement after Greitens announced his resignation, saying that “a fair and just resolution” of the charges against the governor had been reached.
Greitens still maintains his innocence, and during the press conference announcing his resignation he said that, although he is “not perfect”, he hasn’t broken any laws, and has not “committed any offense worthy of this treatment.”
Politicians do tend to say that kind of stuff when their misconduct comes to light, of course. Greitens went on to use the typical witch-hunt defense, which is a favorite of cheating politicians. “This ordeal has been designed to cause an incredible amount of strain on my family,” Greitens said. (As if his affair with another man’s wife weren’t the thing straining his family.)
He continued: “Millions of dollars of mounting legal bills, endless personal attacks designed to cause maximum damage to family and friends. Legal harassment of colleagues, friends and campaign workers and it’s clear that for the forces that oppose us, there is no end in sight. I cannot allow those forces to continue to cause pain and difficulty to the people that I love,” said Greitens.
That’s all well and good, but you’ve surely heard this story before, folks.
Another politician, drunk on his own power, makes a series of mistakes that he believes will never be tied back to him. How could they be, when he’s so powerful?
But the truth always seems to come out about these kinds of things. It’s enough to make you wonder why people run for office when they know they have career-ending skeletons like that hiding in their closets. Is it a sense of invincibility? A belief that people won’t care about morality in these wicked times? (Not a bad bet, frankly.) Is it a naive sense that the media will give them the benefit of the doubt?
Personally I think that the reason politicians seem like such dirtballs is because politics attracts dirty people. The exercise of power over others, having the ability to control a community, is something that tends to appeal to creepy scumbags.
That’s not to say there aren’t any good-hearted public servants in the halls of our government. There may be one or two. But politics, as a field of practice, tends to attract people who want to wield power over others.
In other words, tyrants.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter very much whether the tyrant in power is a Republican or a Democrat. Both parties have their share of wicked men (and nasty women) clinging to power for their own benefit.
Eric Greitens was seen as a rising Republican star. Now his political career has come crashing brutally to earth.
And in truth it’s a shame that his family situation has been dragged into the public eye like this.
But if Eric Greitens didn’t want that kind of scrutiny, by God, he should have kept his dick in his pants and his hat out of the ring.