The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
GOP Senator Arrested on DUI Charges

There’s a lot of glee in some circles at the news that Senator Michael Crapo (R-Idaho) was arrested over the weekend, failed field sobriety tests, tested at well beyond legal levels for blood alcohol and was booked on DUI charges. Here at the stately Mead Manor, the feeling is more of a “there but for the grace of God” kind of thing. Over the years a lot of people I know—and I am one of them—have had to accept that some lives at least are lived better without sauce. This isn’t a religious thing, though religion comes into it; it’s a very practical matter.

For everyone out there who can quaff the spiked eggnog and wassail away without harm or consequence, Merry Christmas! And for those who, like me and a lot of people I know, have discovered that Christmas and everything else go better without booze, Merry Christmas as well.

Senator Crapo understands his own situation best, and needs no lectures here. He certainly doesn’t need amateur long distance diagnosis. But it’s worth pointing out to the young folks out there that a lot of promising careers go down in booze-fueled flames—and a lot of promising lives are snuffed out in road accidents. If you even think you might have a problem with alcohol, it’s worth taking this quick test. Over the years some very big names in Washington DC and elsewhere have realized that alcohol was getting between them and their personal and professional goals; the smart choice is to step back before your name is all over the newspapers, your career and perhaps your marriage are in crisis—or your body parts are all over the road.

Senator Crapo has a hard row to hoe just now, personally and professionally; it’s a situation he has created for himself and one he’ll have to deal with as best he can. The people of Idaho will have to decide whether they want him to continue to represent them in the Senate, but something he said in his statement suggests that whatever happens with his job, Crapo may be turning a corner. “I will also undertake measures to ensure that this circumstance is never repeated.” If he sticks to that idea, his life is going to improve regardless of whether he keeps his current job.

Published on December 24, 2012 12:00 pm