Crowbar Governor & The Senator From Central Casting

May 4, 2011

I've been plowing through two biographies of Connecticut political titans -- Morgan Bulkeley who was Hartford mayor, Connecticut governor and a US Senator during the Gilded Age -- and Tom Dodd, Nuremberg prosecutor, Congressman, and a US Senator.

Both men stand accused of chicanery. Bulkeley's seems almost comical. In testimony to a corrupt practices committee, he pretty much stood up for vote-buying as a sound political practice -- a way to get lazy, ignorant and malleable people to cooperate with more important political goals.

Dodd's story seems more tragic than comic, and the blot on his record in the form of a censure by the U.S. Senate not only ended his political career but also haunted the adult life of his son, Chris Dodd, also a US Senator.

Does the old equation, comedy equals tragedy plus time, apply to stories of political corruption?

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