Emmett Tyrrell

As Ariel Castro, the convicted kidnapper, rapist and baby killer, shuffled off in chains to the hoosegow, I thought why was there so little reportage or commentary about his idiotic statement made in an Ohio courtroom. Is it because the man himself is so repugnant? Is it because his transgressions against society are so repulsive? I think it is both and one thing more.

Americans have heard all this claptrap before. We are familiar with the rumblings of a sociopath. A sociopath, in plain language unadorned by the psychiatrists' hocus-pocus, is a person who does not know right from wrong, at least as regards his own behavior.

Few sociopaths even acknowledge society's sense of outrage at their behavior. When Castro said, "These people are trying to paint me as a monster. I'm not a monster. I'm sick," it was as though he thought society was at fault for not recognizing his illness earlier on and offering him therapy. Not life in prison but a 12-step program, and then he could go out into society again. Cured! Ready to participate in all the bountiful blessings of American life!

When he spoke of "My sexual problem," he could have been speaking as the Mayor of San Diego, Bob Filner, who recently admitted to his "problem" and has promised to undergo "two weeks of intense therapy" so that he will never again harass women, one of whom he placed lovingly in that time-honored act of sexual foreplay, the headlock! Two weeks of therapy and he will be back in the mayor's office performing the invaluable work that the people of San Diego voted him into office to do.

Meanwhile, in New York City Eliot Spitzer feels he is fully qualified to be city comptroller. Spitzer, upon admitting to availing himself of top-of-the-line hookers, stepped down from the governorship in 2008. Yet, after a spell of counseling, therapy and serving as host on a CNN talk show, he is presenting himself to the electorate as repristinated. And then there is Anthony Weiner, who is running for mayor despite being forced from Congress in 2011 for sending pictures of his genitalia and lewd emails to women he did not know and lying to the public about it. This summer he entered the mayor's race promising never to send such emails again. Then it was discovered he did do it again. Now he is as convinced as Spitzer that his indiscretions are behind him. They are things of the past. A few weeks ago he was running neck and neck in the Democratic primary, and if he can hang in there long enough he will be neck and neck again.

Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
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