The Torch Re-Ignites

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The execrable Bob Torricelli apparently doesn't read his Fitzgerald, because he's back for a second act. A man with the dubious dual distinction of being sleazy by the standards of both politics and New Jersey, the Torch has been appointed special master of an environmental cleanup site by one of his old cronies (to the tune of $500k per annum) and is now selling himself as a dealmaker and power broker. I know Torch isn't he first pol to be bought… but it doesn't even rule you out of the game a scant couple of years after getting publicly caught at it? In the words of one of Torch's kindred spirits… beam me up!

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  1. I agree with dude’s point about the relative faults of crooks and crusaders. The trouble with politicians is that they are like cockroaches; it’s not what they steal and carry off that’s so bad, it’s what they fall into and mess up.

  2. The comments above reflect just how easy it is to manipulate the determinedly cynical. The idea that “everyone does it” (and no, not everyone can get a judge whose appointment he urged to turn around and recommend him for a lucrative government contract) is precisely why Bob Torricelli is able to get away with cashing in on a public office in the way he has. A guy like Torricelli can play people who believes “everybody does it” like a fiddle.

  3. “History is the story of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless”-Sir Humphrey Appleby.Toricelli will run again for something-he is a relatively young man,and the talent pool in the NJ Democratic Party is legendarily thin.

  4. Couple of years? Isn’t it less than a year at this point?

  5. Half a million dollars? Is he being paid to eat the contaminated soil?

  6. Transparently sleazy politicians–in small enough numbers–contribute to a healthy skepticism about government.

    Furthermore, Torch was both politically powerful and one of the more sensible Democrats. He supported tax cuts!

    As an expat who left his heart in Jersey, I would take Sen. Toricelli over the incontinent windbag/authoritarian Frank Lautenberg any day of the fucking week.

  7. One could argue in the other direction that
    obvious clowns like Toricelli distract attention
    from the systematic corruption embodied in
    people like Gray Davis or Hillary Clinton (or
    Bob Dole, for that matter). That systemic
    corruption is celebrated by many theories of
    democratic governance – all the “stakeholders”
    get their due – but it is corruption nonetheless.
    Would that democracy, as in voting, were under-
    stood as a very crude way of disciplining
    certain types of bad behavior by government
    and nothing more.

  8. I kind of liked Toricelli too, except for the crook bit. Maybe he is just too crass about it. There’s a lot of cronyism going on everywhere.

    Actually, I have this hypothesis that crooked politicians are less of a threat to freedom than earnest crusaders.

  9. Maybe we need a whole new party of politicians who are transparent criminals, but who are also amusing. Torricelli/Traficant, anyone?

  10. Toricelli again. God, I hate this state.

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