Hail the Conquering Cheater!

Hail the conquering cheater!

Young people, pay homage to this weekís heroes. Emulate them. Follow in their footsteps. Learn to cheat and someday the rest of us may honor you.

That seems to be the message lately. This week, New York Congressman Charlie Rangel won his primary election. Charlie the cheat.

Charlie cheated on his taxes. Which, of course, is par for the course with a lot of political types. Half of the presidentís economic team had not paid their taxes when they were nominated for office.

Charlie cheated on reporting his assets to Congress. He cheated when he cornered four rent-controlled apartments for his operation. He cheated when he extorted money. From outfits that had business before his congressional committee. He had them give big bucks to his Charles B. Rangel charity. The good olí reliable pay-to-play scam.

The House censured him. Dishonored him. Shamed him. Well, the shame passed pretty quickly. Nancy Pelosi forgot all about that. A week ago she honored him with an endorsement in his primary campaign. So did Governor Cuomo. Isnít that wonderful? The leader of a state and the leader of the Democrats in the House honor this crook with their endorsement. Pay attention, young folks. Recognize the heroes in our midst.

Oh, well, you say. This is just politics. We all know politicians cheat all the time. Unlike, say, sports heroes.

Well, this week we had a New York Yankee cheating. Left fielder Dewayne Wise fell into the seats snaring a foul ball. Except that he did not snare it. But he won the prize for acting. He faked it. He acted as if he had caught it. Trotted off to the dugout. That conned the umpire into calling it a catch.

He cheated. The ball game was a close one. In other words, his cheating may well have decided the game. Hey, give that man big headlines in the morning papers. Have him on the clips on TV sports. Feature him as having done something spectacular. Not as a cheat. No, we donít want to label him a cheat. After all, heís a heroic Yankee. Imagine you got his autograph on a baseball. Along with Charlie Rangelís. Why, you could send that to Cooperstown.

And some day a young man might visit Cooperstownís Hall of Fame and feel especially inspired. Because he too loved to cheat.

He is a student at one of New York Cityís premier high schools. He cheated on his recent Regents exam. Well, címon, over 100 of his fellow students also cheated. This kid was merely the ring-leader. Merely. He regularly texted answers to other students. And they texted answers to him. During the exams.

Did his dad kick his backside? Nah. He stood up for him. Said the kid was under a lot of pressure from health problems. And he had been robbed at a subway station last month. That caused him to fall behind in his class work. Which made it okay to cheat.

That fits the mold. Charlie was under pressure. Tackling huge problems for the lowly voters. That is why he cheated. And the Yankee? Well, you know the pressures of the pennant race. And the pressures of investing the multi-millions the guy is making this season.

The student should have a great future. Maybe he will write a fake auto-biography and get elected to high office. Or maybe he could juice-up on steroids and become a sports hero. Or maybe he could become one of the countless firemen or police who bilk taxpayers with fake disability claims.

Honestly, the heroes who walk among us. Ooops. I mean the opposite.

From Tom ... as in Morgan.

For more columns and for Tomís radio shows and new TV shows (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com.

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