During my childhood my grandmother used to tell me ‘appearances matter. Julius Caesar, I learned later, felt the same way. One night his wife, Pompeia, found herself in a awkward encounter with a Roman gentleman bent on seducing her. By most accounts Pompeia was innocent but nonetheless her encounter with young Publius Clodius led to a scandal, and – declaring, “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion” – Caesar divorced her.
In the 1960’s I learned my grandmother was dead wrong – that judging people by how they looked or dressed was pure meanness. After that I managed to stay enlightened for about two decades, until my youngest daughter began wearing skirts that gave me a new understanding of the importance of appearances.
When it comes to appearances our Governor, Beverly Perdue, is completely fearless. Apparently, the way she sees it worrying over appearances is for the faint of heart.
She has let cabinet secretaries give no-bid state contracts to their former clients and, now, according to the newspapers one of her contributors has been selling voting machines all over North Carolina – which went along fine until folks started going to the polls and an odd thing happened: If they tried to vote ‘straight Republican’ the machine counted their votes for the Democratic candidates.
That naturally set the Republicans – who were already mad at Obama – on fire and it didn’t help when Governor Perdue’s Election Board, explaining that Republican votes being counted for Democratic candidates was no big deal, said, “That sort of comes with the territory with touch-screen technology.”
The Republicans couldn’t get to court fast enough. They petitioned Judge Malcolm Howard to order the Board to pass out written instructions to voters to help solve the problem and watched open mouthed as the lawyer for the Board stood up, smiled at the Judge, said, Ho, hum, and declared the whole thing was a waste of time and that the judge ought to let nature take its course.
Beyond that, why on earth is a contributor to Governor Perdue selling voting machines to Election Boards (that Perdue appoints) in the first place?