Monday, Apr 23, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio


Time to call Politicians Anonymous

The place: A church basement in Toledo.

The event: A 12-Step Program gathering.

The people: A small crowd milling around the coffee pot as a man walks to the front of the room to begin The Meeting.


"Hello, everyone," he says, "my name is Peter, and I'm a politician."

"Hi, Peter!" says the crowd in unison.

"Welcome to this gathering of Politicians Anonymous. This is a special meeting, as we come together to remember our fellow PA friend, 'Bob.' OK, who would like to start tonight?"

A brief silence, then, at the back of room, a tall man with an impossibly earnest face stands to address the group.

"My name is Wade "

"Hi, Wade!" says the crowd in unison.

" and I'm a politician."

The group nods in empathy.

"As most of you know, I've held elected office since I was 12 years old. Or maybe that's just since I looked 12. Frankly, I can't remember, and it doesn't matter," the boyish man says, stopping to draw a deep breath.

"The point is, I've known 'Bob' for years, before he 'hit bottom.' And I stand before you today a deeply embarrassed man, because the truth is this: Despite whatever see-no-evil, hear-no-evil statements I may have publicly made in the past, I had a pretty good idea about Bob's, uh, about his, um well, let's just say, I already knew all about his dedication to financial self-improvement."

In the front row, another man leaps to his feet to interrupt.

"Hi, everybody. My name is George, and I'm a politician "

"Hi, George!" says the crowd in unison.

" and I just wanted to say: I can't say anything. Legal issues, you know? I mean, yeah, I have personal knowledge about what I call Bob's 'Sealed Envelope Technique,' but beyond that, I cannot and will not say anything in public."

"Hi, everybody. My name is Louis, and I'm a recovering politician "

"Hi, Louis!" says the crowd in unison.

" and I'll be honest: I had a pretty good idea about Bob too. Unlike George, I'd have been glad to speak up, but nobody ever asked me, which is a little weird. But, yes, I've been aware of Bob's 'Sealed Envelope Technique.' But I'd like to say for the record I never actually touched any envelope," Louis tells the group before he sits down again.

Peter, the man who opened the meeting, addresses the group again.

"Well, I just want everyone to know that I really did try to help Bob. I even set up an Ethics Intervention for him, but I guess we all know how THAT turned out."

A brief lull overtakes the room, then the distinguished-looking man who earlier introduced himself as George rises one more time and says:

"Before our meeting ends, may I just add something to what I wouldn't say before? It's this: I'd like to remind everyone that Bob is a Democrat."

Click to comment

Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem?

Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet.

Copyright © 2018 Toledo Blade

To Top

Fetching stories…