Senatorial version of Truth or Dare

The Packwood diary vote is in and the results show that, yes, the Senate is truly a bunch of nosy, scandal stirring, fuddy-duddies.

Just in case there are any of you out there who have not heard about Sen. Packwood, this is the deal.

Following his re-election last November, more than two dozen women—25 to be exact—came forward claiming the senator made inappropriate sexual advances toward them. Nothing has been proven, but Packwood has publicly apologized to any women he may have offended.

Since the allegations, the Senate Ethics Committee has been investigating Sen. Packwood to see if he did indeed act inappropriately. The committee asked if Packwood would submit a few entries from his diary to help with the investigation. Packwood submitted. (Now this is where it gets good.) The entries proved to be not only helpful but mighty interesting because after reading them the Ethics Committee asked for all his diary entries. (Why, you ask? Because, the committee said, he might have been involved in other criminal wrongdoings. Ooooo, Ahhhhhh!)

Well folks, Packwood said no way! The committee was a little put off that Packwood was unwilling to allow it free access to his very personal thoughts so it subpoenaed his diary. A debate broke out among all the senators and a vote was held to see if the Senate supported the subpoena.

In the end, the Senate backed the idea to rummage through Sen. Packwood’s personal diaries in an overwhelming 96-4 vote. No, they don’t want just the “relevant” stuff, but everything is fair game. Heck if they get their hands on it, they might as well read all the juicy stuff.

In reaction, Sen. Robert C. Byrd claims that Packwood has, “lost his grasp of what is means to be a U.S. senator.” If part of being a U.S. senator, or a U.S. citizen for that matter, means allowing just anyone to probe into one’s personal thoughts without permission then—yes, he has lost his grasp. Then again, if Byrd is referring to any wrong actions Sen. Packwood may have participated in, then he’s not saying anything which would not be true of about one-fourth of the politicians today.

Sen. Byrd also called for Packwood’s resignation saying he was damaging the Senate through his refusal to comply with the committee. Well Sen. Byrd, I think the Senate is damaging itself through its bullying tactics and public lack of respect for a person’s privacy. If Sen. Packwood needs to resign, let the public know about it through fair and legal means and let the public call for it. The public elected him—let the public kick him out.

What if the committee finds Packwood cheated on his taxes in past years and wrote about it in the diary? Would the Senate Committee turn him into the IRS?

Or, better yet, why don’t we sit Sen. Kennedy down, shoot him up with some sodium penathol and get the real story of Chappaquidick out of him. I’m sure more than enough people want to know that one.

How about if the Senate gives the Ethics Committee the ability to hypnotize all the people it investigates so all the facts get told.

As I see it—Packwood is a jerk—but that’s besides the point. His private diary is just that, PRIVATE and should remain that way.

I believe there are a few lessons to be learned from this whole thing.. Don’t keep a diary.

2. If you do have a diary, stay out of the Senate because then you have to share.

3. Everybody loves a circus.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone—don’t do anything you don’t want to write in your diaries.