Monday, June 22, 2009

Friends Of Dodd (FOD) To The Rescue


The Hartford Courant, assaulted by the paper's columnist and ex-radio talk show host Colin McEnroe as being insufficiently empathetic to Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, invited Friends of Dodd (FOD) to weigh in on the senator’s sterling virtues.

The shade of former Gov. John Rowland, towards whom all the commentators celebrating Dodd’s spotless career in the U.S. Senate were insufficiently empathetic, hovered over the whole enterprise like Banquo’s ghost.

McEnroe wrote that the Courant had “engaged in an unattractive feeding frenzy,” displaying “a tabloid-style headline that was so garishly loaded as to constitute a real lapse in journalistic standards.” The “political establishment, with one or two exceptions, has shown itself to be utterly without spine.” They have repaid the kindnesses shown them “by treating him like a pin pulled hand-grenade. They stand 80 yards from the blast site feebly waving.”

A lament for Connecticut's beleaguered ex-governor perhaps?

Nope. It’s Dodd being roughly handled by putative ungrateful liberals that has aroused McEnroe’s ire.

Bill Curry lamented that “one columnist” – presumably Kevin Rennie of the Courant – “can still lay siege to a good man’s reputation and turn a modern state into a latter day Salem.”

Rowland being savaged by Curry’s friend McEnroe? By Curry himself? By the whole journalistic brass band that brought Rowland down?

Nope. It’s Dodd, this year’s saintly liberal martyr, being hacked to pieces by renegade Rennie that has engaged the solicitude of Curry and McEnroe.

Lowell Weicker very likely would be incapable of writing about anything at all if some imp were to steal the capital “I” from his keyboard. His generous appraisal of Dodd contains a brief 13 lines, 12 of which are studded with “I.” Weicker – a self described “turd in the Republican punchbowl” –unsurprisingly has a soft spot in his heart for Dodd.

Weicker’s plaint begins: “In 1970, I made my first run for the U.S. Senate. It was a unique event in that I was pitted against a Democrat, Joe Duffy (sic), and an Independent, Tom Dodd — a beginning for me but an end to the distinguished career of Sen. Dodd. Though happy to win, I wasn't particularly proud of the tough verbiage I had landed on Dodd.”

Macbeth lamenting the murder of Banquo?

Well, sort of.

We discover, after all these years, that Weicker has been suffering from a bad conscience. Was he not at least partially responsible for having ended the long and lustrous career of Tom Dodd, the senator's father?

“Though happy to win,” Weicker wrote, “I wasn't particularly proud of the tough verbiage I had landed on Dodd.” Not to mention the blows to the solar plexus he delivered to Joe Duffey, a forthright anti-Vietnam war protestor running for senator along side Tom Dodd and Weicker. These days, Weicker credits Dodd with his “opposition to the war in Iraq. While other Democrats were too afraid to speak up — or worse, were doing their own saber-rattling — Sen. Dodd spoke out loud and clear against this travesty of money spent and lives lost.”

Fortune favoring the brave, the war lamented by Weicker was won by the good guys, a victory that has permitted President Barack Obama to commit additional needed troops to Afghanistan. No doubt there will be casualties in future battles mourned by all. Weicker and Dodd, however, have been unusually silent on the wisdom of the most recent military build up promoted by the Democrat president.

Dodd’s fall from grace includes the following lapses: As a “Friend of Angelo”(FOA) Mozilo, President of Countrywide, Dodd received special treatment from the now defunct mortgage lender. He bought a house in Ireland in tandem with William Kessinger, a business associate of Edward Downe, who was friendly with Dodd during the senator’s wild and wooly bachelor days. Dodd and Downe owned a Washington condominium together in 1986. Dodd later bought out his co-purchaser's share of the house in Ireland and has persistently under-reported the true value of the property on congressional financial forms. Dodd intervened successfully with former President Bill Clinton, who pardoned Downe, previously convicted of insider trading. Dodd has received in campaign contributions oodles of cash from financial companies he is supposed to be regulating as chairman of the senate banking committee. He worked hand and glove with the Obama administration to see to it that the AIG culprits who brought down the U.S. economy by peddling junk insurance were not penalized by a move to withdraw their bonuses. AIG contributed heavily to Dodd’s political campaigns, which included a fruitless run for the presidency.

Rowland, who had no friends in the media when he accepted a hot tub and other favors from the political cronies to whom he turned over his government, spent a year in jail. Dodd likely will seek and win office once again --memories are perishable -- retiring, far from the madding crowd, to his cottage in Ireland after a sterling career in the U.S. Congress .

He has plenty of friends in low places.
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