I’ve got hypocrisy on my mind, thanks to recent developments in the process of appointing officials to the Obama administration. First, Timothy Geithner, appointed to the position of national tax collector in chief, turns out to have failed to pay certain taxes. Then former Sen. Tom Daschle, the nominee to head Health and Human Services, turns out to have failed to pay much more. He wriggles and squirms a while under the spotlight but makes no move to step aside until a third nominee, Nancy Killefer, withdraws on principle over a much smaller sum of unpaid taxes, after which Daschle can’t stick around without looking like an utter tool.
And all this, to hear some speak, reflects badly on the incoming Obama administration, which was supposed to have been better than all this.
Well, yes, it does reflect badly.
But at the same time, it reminds me of a passage from Neal Stephenson’s novel The Diamond Age: