Monday, August 27, 2007

August Surprises

What is it with August and resignations? Why did this month inspire three high level Bush administration figures, Karl Rove, Tony Snow, and (today) Alberto Gonzales, to resign from the White House? I ask this question facetiously, recognizing that August is a time-honored month for government officials to suddenly discover that they want to "spend more time with their families." Even former House Speaker Dennis Hastert waited until this month to announce that he will resign from Congress rather than stay through his term. How sad.

Supposedly Americans are too busy with summer travel, back-to-school preparations, and other personal pursuits to notice when politicians decide to cash in their chips. I've always found this kind of calculus to be frustrating. One must possess a certain cynicism about the electorate to figure that quitting the White House or other high office -- after spending months defending one's role amid numerous scandals and failures -- will somehow slide past the public consciousness without much recognition, so long as the announcement emerges before Labor Day.

It's sad to imagine that a number of politicians think that way. It's sadder to recognize that they're probably right.

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