Back in the day it was a truism that you knew an issue or a subject had reached critical mass (and that you were really in trouble) when it started turning up in Johnny Carson’s monolog. This was certainly the case with Watergate.
Jay Leno, in his wildest dreams, can’t imagine that he inherited that mantle with the gig (that would have to have been won the old fashioned way — by earning it). But it isn’t without significance that he got a big laugh with this monolog joke the other night:
Hey, you hear about this? Very strange incident at JFK Airport in New York City today. An AIG executive going through security had to empty out all his pockets. You know what fell out? Senator Chris Dodd.
The case against Senator Dodd is formidable. Does this mean his electoral days are numbered? He’s a Democrat in Connecticut, one of the most powerful and well-connected Committee Chairmen, and some of the papers in the state still are now only reluctantly beginning to cover this story, so who knows what’s in his electoral future.
By the way, I regret the emerging tendency to tie Senator Dodd’s ethical problems with those of his father Senator Dodd. The sins of the fathers shouldn’t be visited on the sons — who are perfectly capable of committing their own — and this line of analysis (or attack) is neither productive nor fair. He has been a loyal son, and there is merit in that, even if the loyalty is misplaced.
What makes him worthy of special attention and scorn is the way he has assumed that his shameful conduct would be overlooked as he shamelessly tried to weasel out of responsibility by positioning himself as an innocent bystander at the country’s current economic debacle.