Narcissus and Caligula on the Potomac

By: June 02, 2011

If, as Lord Acton once said, it’s true that absolute power corrupts absolutely, we need look no further than the banks of the Potomac to find contemporary proof.

Cases in point–the recent behavior of former Republican Congressman Chris Lee and current Democrat Congressman Anthony Weiner. Both appear to have taken compromising photographs of themselves and sent those digital images via social media or e-mail to young women.

Congressman Lee had enough sense to resign immediately.

Congressman Weiner has subjected us to elaborate non-denial denials, absurd press conferences, and rhetorical silliness that cause us all to wince at the man’s hubris.

What is it about power that brings out the inner Narcissus and Caligula in political leaders ?

Tawdry scandals are not new to Washington of course. What’s new is the Orwellian communications strategies and justifications offered by the current generation of political leaders embroiled in these scandals.

All of this suggests the need for a Voices of the Tea Party e-book that explores the pathology of power, especially as it relates to political parties. George Washington warned us of the pettiness and petulance of political parties in his Farewell Address. What’s needed, in my opinion, is an e-book that outlines a practical plan for constitutional tea partiers to supplant the corrupt leadership structure of both political parties, and replace those structures with truly representative, responsible, and humble leadership.

Mark Kevin Lloyd is the former President of the Lynchburg, Virginia Tea Party and currently serves as Chairman of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots Federation. He is also the author of  The Battle for Virginia’s Fifth District. He can be reached on Twitter at @mklloydva .

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