Congratulations to the Post-Dispatch for that title to its editorial on Ashcroft selling his reputation by accepting a no bid contract from his former underling at the Justice Department. His consulting firm has received “a no-bid gig that will pay out $27 million to $52 million over just 18 months” for monitoring a medical device company accused of making illegal kickbacks to doctors.
The sale of his soul reminds me of a minor tidbit from an old interview with Ashcroft that’s been sticking in my craw for several years now. In his last campaign, he came across all humble and homey by explaining how much he’s learned from his wife over the years. He offered the example of how she trained him to empty the dishwasher by putting the newly clean dishes on the bottom of the stack so that all the dishes got equal wear and tear. Isn’t that sweet? And so appropriate, the sort of thing his wife would be expected to know about. No Hillary Clinton in that household.
Pardon my cynicism–and I could be wrong–but I don’t even believe the example. I seriously doubt he did much emptying of the dishwasher, but if he really did, I hope he’ll accept my apology. He and his wife are more careful housekeepers than I am. And I’ll just add that even after he earns multi-millions in the next year and a half, perhaps he’ll continue to live his humble, well ordered existence.
But even if he doesn’t spend any of those millions on waitstaff, I feel compelled to remind Mr. Ashcroft, considering how he has always worn his evangelicalism on his sleeve, of Christ’s admonition (Matt. 10:24):
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven.
Lest I seem too partisan in picking on Ash-trough, let me also congratulate the P-D on playing fair. The editorial remembered to take a well deserved shot at Dick Gephardt as well:
Somehow we thought Mr. Ashcroft would avoid the temptation to monetize his public service. We thought the same thing about former Rep. Richard A. Gephardt, D-St. Louis, another Mr. Clean while in office. We were disappointed there, too; Mr. Gephardt now is shilling for the investment banking and energy industries and the government of Turkey.
Shame on you, Dick Gephardt.