Tuesday, October 27, 2009


If it is true what this morning’s newspaper says about Maria Shriver – that she parked her car in a red zone for an hour while she was at her doctor’s office – what is wrong with that girl?

She was nailed recently by one of the skulking photographers who caught her talking on her cell phone while driving, for which she apologized and “took responsibility” for her actions, and apparently she has turned right around and done something equally as stupid and got caught again. Did she think “taking responsibility” again, which she did, mitigated her lawbreaking?

I think she is a smart lady, smart enough to know both decisions she made were against the California law, and that even the California governor’s wife is expected to obey the law. Smart enough to know that the eagle-eyed photographers were certainly watching and she was not going to be able to get away with lawbreaking again. What was her thought process when she parked there? “Oh well”? “So what”? “Not me”? “Just a few minutes”? “I can afford the fine?”

I have to laugh when I think that she is a classic example of a “Scofflaw,” a person who flouts rules, conventions, or accepted practices. I once knew a man quite well who was considered by one and all to be teetering between a scofflaw and a sociopath. His behavior was more of lacking a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience than just flouting laws. I don’t want to compare his attitude with Maria’s in any way. Nevertheless, reading about this latest misstep of hers, if it is actually true, makes one think of what next? The other possibility, of course, is simply an overabundance of hubris, which probably is simply just an occupational hazard for those in the limelight.

What is the word that pols use to restore people to their former glory? Ah yes, “rehabilitate.” Before Maria gets anymore unflattering publicity, perhaps the rehabilitators can work their magic on her and her image. We have watched her on TV for a long time. We thought she was a sharp reporter. We like the causes she supports and, well, we think of Kennedy, not Swartzennegger, every time we see her. We wonder why, for such trivial little things, she is doing this to herself? Just saying “I take responsibility” doesn’t get her off the hook. Change does.

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