Friday, February 25, 2011

The old code of political aides is dead

Much ado is being made nationally about a former Sarah Palin aide writing a book about Palin.  On the South Carolina front, South Carolina politicos are awaiting the book by political consultant and blogger Will Folks about Governor Nikki Haley and others.  Such things are the death of the old political code.

The old political code was that if you worked close with some politician, it was like lawyer-client privilege.  The personal and ugly things you saw you kept to yourself.  Personally, I worked, from 1992 until 2006,on campaigns of conservative candidates for office at all levels.  While there are times I might share with close friends or family this or that interesting or funny moment with a politician I worked with, never have I considered writing about the details of such folks in a book or on this blog. Indeed, there are some things I saw and I know that I will take with me to my grave without sharing them with one single soul.  I am not a perfect man by any means, but I got enough honor in me to do that.  I have adhered to the old code, even though I need the money not to.  The pride and sense of honor of adhering to that old code is something money cannot buy.

And, the current situation does come down to money.  There was a time when politicians were fiercely loyal to the folks around them who were loyal to them.  Now, politicians are loyal to money and leave the folks that work side by side with them hanging in the wind.  So, it so no wonder that political operatives now seek out money to tell their stories. Years ago, Senator Thurmond would do favors for the little guy who put out signs for him, now that guy is ignored because he did not write a big check.    The situation is easy to understand.  A political operative who saw the good and bad of the politician they worked for has no incentive to remain loyal when that politician forgets them over money.  So, it is no shock that such operatives go out and write about what they know for money.

Former President George H.W. Bush treasured loyalty.  He thought it meant more than money.  But, that is not today’s politics.  Today’s politics is money.  Loyalty does not even come on the political radar.  Money makes the loyalty now.  So, people who had confidential relationships with politicians just naturally join their employers to seek money to tell all.  The old code is dead.  It is the world we live in.  And, as such it joins the list of things wrong with politics in America and South Carolina today. 

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