NOT AGAIN Erskine?: BobLee on the occasion of Erskine’s BREAKING NEWS career decision. BobLee made four career blunders in his adult life. Erskine seems hell-bent to catch and surpass him. Is THIS what friends are for?
You have never asked me to stand up for you. Each time that I have, you have been effusively appreciative. Thanking someone for kind words is what men do that are “raised right”. We both were.
As we have discussed, I did not vote for you either time you ran for Senate. But, I always thought you were “perfect” for UNC System President. You seemed so at peace in the position after not-so-pleasant experiences in the belly of the political beast. As UNC Prez you are still knee-deep in the septic sludge of politics, but those fancy academic vestments mask the stench.
There is as little good about “politics” as there is good about getting to be our age. Both are part of “life”. Make the best of both and keep shoveling the manure looking for a pony hidden in there somewhere.
Before we became acquainted, you were asked by an impeached (and quite amoral) president to join his administration lending your reputation as a “high character guy” to his team of scallywags. Ten years later he is still “impeached” and his reputation as a quite amoral man is solidified in the history books. You took the hit.
The “stink” from THAT association is credited for your back-back defeats in your Senate runs. …… “You are who you are. You’ve done what you’ve done.”
As UNC System Prez you have had the rare opportunity to apply all your acquired skills to a labor dear to your (and your dad’s) heart. What a wonderful card you were dealt. Recall I compared your challenge to that of Hercules cleaning out King Augeus’ stables. Not to overdo the shoveling manure analogy.
The people of North Carolina wish that its University system could actually approach in reality the high standards it so boasts of. As with any bureaucracy, there are sloathful “we-bees” and rascals festering inside those ivy-covered buildings wishing to be left alone to fester. Your “Dudley Do-Right” idealism threatened that crowd.
And then along came “Mary” …. Easley. I recall our e-conversation the day that toilet publicly overflowed. I believe your account of the sequence of events and the statements by the fired Oblinger and Larry The Provost Guy how “keeping this from the higher-ups” was essential to their flim flam.
When you (aka “the higher-up”) discovered what had been perpetrated, you had the option of overturning the administrative illegality. You, and your BOG, chose to approve it after the fact. That fateful decision was reached behind closed doors but it was you who faced the people of NC and gave your stamp of approval to that illegality. It happened on your watch. Involving not an impeached, amoral President; but a heading-to-be-imprisoned, quite dishonest Governor.
The “stink” from the Mary Easley Scandal overshadows the list of good works from your tenure as UNC System President. Again, YOU took the hit. “You are who you are. You’ve done what you’ve done.”
Last week you announced your intent to retire from your post with UNC consistent with your life/career plan. I stood by you on this website and on the radio. By my own choice.
Now you stick on your skinny butt AGAIN. Damn!
NOW you are loaning out your ever-fraying public reputation; this time to the embattled Obama administration. If anyone has experienced a worse past 3-4 months than Ol’ Roy it would be Barack Obama and his gang of radical ideologues.
YET ANOTHER scandal-plagued chief executive crying out “Bring me the integrity coattails of Erskine Bowles to hide behind.” ….. You dutifully answer this call too; fronting for Obama, Emmanuel, Axelrod, Biden, Pelosi and Reid. To paraphrase a popular punch line “How’d those other two associations work out for you Erskine?”
“Slick Willie” and “Sleazy Easley” are “Eddie Haskells”. Dishonest, amoral narcissists and pathological liars skilled enough to beat most polygraphs, but “Eddie Haskells”. Now you are climbing into bed with a ideological sociopath. “Mr Peepers” could be chewed, screwed, tattooed and sent back to Charlotte in a body bag. You really should take Nancy Reagan’s advice – “Just say no!”
When was this latest plan hatched? Before you announced your retirement? Before I stood up publicly for you? How will this effect your effectiveness as POTUNCS – “your dream job”? These are dire times for our state and its university system. Will “The 16 Universities of The People” have a part-time chief executive while you run interference for the Chicago gang?
“Bi-partisan Commission blah blah blah” – depends on your definition of “is” ….. OUCH! Obviously you believe this is a noble “my country calls ….” thing just as the other two poop stains on your political resume seemed to be. I betcha my Charlie “Choo Choo” #22 baby sweater that this polit-sociopath will use you like he uses everyone outside his inner circle.
Based on your past experiences with embattled politicians of marginal, ill repute, “rots o’ ruck” with this, Erskine. What’s next? ….. You gonna be best man at John & Reille’s wedding? …..
Every time these scallywags use/abuse your good name ….. well, Erskine, then that name’s just not as good as it was before. sigh, sob, sniff.
Sure, I am being hammered for standing up for you. Good thing I have a tough hide. If I had waited a few days I might have passed on the other column. My reputation can’t handle deals with devils. Even if they come with an Oval Office access pass. ….. “We are who we are. We’ve done what we’ve done.”
Do I still “like you”? well YEAH. Heck, I even still “like” Roy …. and John Bunting too. I don’t like your politics. But I never have. I don’t regret our friendship AT ALL, Erskine. I do believe you are a decent fellow.
At every level society locally, nationally and globally has become that steaming pile of manure. No one trusts “politicians” any more. No one trusts “corporations” or “authority figures” or “the media” any more. Hellfire, damn few people trust “their neighbors” any more.
I labor too often under the weight of universal cynicism – a cancer that puts an ugly sneer on one’s lips and the taste of bile in one’s mouth. I’d rather assume the best about folks until they prove otherwise; then run like hell and far away.
I choose to keep on shovelin’. Maybe there is no pony (or good men & true) buried in the pile of manure but I can always use the exercise.
Buddies & Babes: So long as I have a modem and a sliver of bandwidth I WILL BE HONEST WITH YOU. You may not agree with my opinion on a lot of people and issues but, by golly, I’m going to shoot straight with you on how I see’em. THAT’s MY PROMISE TO YOU!