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Defending Gary Condit

By Mario Giardiello

8/27/2001

Defending Gary Condit is particularly difficult these days because everyone thinks he is guilty of something -- as he most likely is.

Yet even the police continue to say he is not a suspect in a crime. The array of talking heads that have appeared in the last few days almost unanimously seem to avoid saying they think he was involved in the disappearance of Chandra Levy.

Instead they focus on the his alleged insensitivity to the Levy family, to his refusal to say flatly that he was sleeping with Chandra Levy, or his body language (whatever that proves).

Condit has been roundly criticized for his interview with Connie Chung for his evasive answers to many of her questions. Maybe if Condit had just felt our pain, maybe have a tear roll down his cheek, all would have been forgiven.

The D.C. police are saying that in fact Condit was not completely forthright with his answers at first. But of course, the D.C. police have a vested interest in the focus remaining on Gary Condit. Those buffoons, after the largest search in American history since the Lindbergh kidnapping, have turned up exactly nothing in evidence as to where Chandra Levy might be. As long as the attention is on Condit, they remain safe from criticism.

Whether Anne Marie Smith has any ulterior motive remains to be seen. But her lawyer says she is planning to file a lawsuit. Can a book deal be far behind?

And the fact is, Gary Condit, a life-long public servant, owes us, the public, absolutely nothing in way of explanation. I hate to be the one to break the news to anyone, but, legally, he owes the parents of Chandra Levy absolutely nothing. (His moral obligation is a different story, but this is Washington, D.C. were talking about.)

He may have a lot to explain to his constituents, but the last time I checked, our Constitution protects individuals and their innocence, until they are proven guilty. This is nothing short of a witch-hunt. It seems some want to throw away the whole legal system because a politician is involved.

Much has been made of the fact that Condit refuses to take another lie detector test. Why won't he? BECAUSE THERE IS ZERO EVIDENCE THAT HE HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE DISAPPEARANCE OF CHANDRA LEVY. Just in case you didnít get it the first time, the police continue to say he is still not a suspect.

But even if he is innocent, there is still the suspicious behavior that he has engaged in since the beginning of the investigation. Most notably, his failure to tell the truth in the first two interrogations he had with police about his relationship with Ms. Levy.

Letís just imagine Condit is innocent for a moment, which after all, is possible. Condit knows he has nothing to contribute to the investigation because, since he is innocent, he really doesnít have any relevant information.

So he makes the decision to spare his own family and his career and doesn't tell the police about his affair. After all, he still has a wife, two children, and over 30 years of loyal service to his constituents.

He may have lied about cheating on his wife, but there is still no proof that he lied about Chandra's disappearance.

Am I defending him as a man of decency and morals? No, but do you know many power-hungry politicians that you would trust with your daughter?

And letís face it, if Ms. Levy was willing to sleep with a married man -- a Congressman at that -- in the post-Clinton era, then in what other types of risky behavior might she have engaged in? Not to stomp on anyoneís grave, but she was no saint.

With all due respect to the Republican Party and their dedication to the moral fiber of this county, we the American people would rather you focus more on the dwindling surplus and the crippling economy, and the highest unemployment in nine years, than on the alleged participation of a Congressman in a crime in which there is no evidence.

Is Gary Condit a saint? Surely not, but he answered every single question truthfully, did nothing to slowdown the investigation, and no one was more cooperative. As he said, too many "rumors were turned into facts" and that is why I do not blame him for not being forthright sooner.

Several people have asked me if I would vote for Gary Condit if I lived in his district. The answer is no. He is way too conservative for me. Conservatives have too few morals for me to consider ever voting for one.

Defending the Man who Defended Condit
by Anthony Giardiello

Stop the presses. Hannity and Colmes agree with each other for the first time. Who would of thought we would see these guys cheerfully slapping each other on the back as they yukked it up with their compliant guests who went along for the ride. Compliant, with the exception of Political USAís Mario Giardiello.

The Condit bashing free for all came as no surprise and was quite predictable. Republicans will do anything to take the focus off of George Bush and the important issues of the day and are downright giddy over the prospect of hanging Condit and his dirty laundry out to dry. The Democrats seem more than happy to let him hang there, flapping in the breeze. Lets face it, Gary Condit is a conservative, the Jeffords of the Democratic Party. The real story in the wake of his interview with Connie Chung is how the Hill punishes free thinkers. Not the fake "analysis" of what a terrible a job Condit did of damage control. That is simply stating the obvious. While the other guests on H&C; were gleefully batting Congressman Condit around like cats playing with an injured mouse, Mario refused to join in, remaining above it all. And although Mario did NOT defend Conditís character, neither did he stand in judgment like so many others who saw no risk in doing so. Mario is right to defend Gary Conditís entitlement to a presumption of innocence.

And how would we react if Condit came off as sincere, forthcoming, and remorseful? Would we all suddenly think "Gee, what a great guy?" Would Republicans then forgive him and the Democrats defend him? If you guessed no, you guessed right. Maybe that would have meant heís an even better liar than we thought. Were we simply judging his ability as an actor? Lets look at the facts (remember facts). There is not one iota of evidence that Condit had anything to do with Chandra Levyís (remember Chandra) disappearance or even had any motive. He has done nothing to hinder the investigation. Regrettably, the D.C. police havenít one clue and no idea how to proceed. This is frustrating to be sure, but hardly the fault of Gary Condit.

I predict that the Condit bashing will make him a sympathetic figure to his constituents. I further predict that his constituents will re-elect him if he decides to run again. After all he may be a cad, but he is their cad.

By the way, Mario, no the TV does not make your nose look bigger than it is. Be proud of that shnozz.




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