- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 15, 2001

Finally, a development in the Chandra Levy case so shocking that Rep. Gary Condit just had to break his public silence with a written statement. While that's not the same as answering an actual question about the case, it's the first Condit communique since the California Democrat attested in writing, somewhat vaguely, to his general concern for his "good friend" Chandra more than three months ago.
This time the statement was all about Gary. Turns out that what got Mr. Condit to stop swinging his suit coat long enough to respond to the case had nothing to do with the disappearance of Chandra Levy, but everything to do with the survival of Gary Condit his political survival, that is. What was the big news? The Modesto Bee and the Fresno Bee, two newspapers that cover most of Mr. Condit's congressional district, just called on the six-term congressman, in the most scathing terms, to resign for having betrayed the public trust with a strategy of what the Modesto paper called "delay, denial and duplicity." While the former Levy boyfriend in Mr. Condit might have kept his mouth shut at this latest humiliation, the eternal politician could remain silent no longer.
The nation has yet to hear Mr. Condit's speaking voice, but what comes through his written response is the pathetic sound of a grown man whining. "It is terribly unfair and disappointing that the Bee would have come to any decision about me without first allowing the investigation to continue and hearing what I have to say," Mr. Condit wrote. "My thirty years in public service should have earned me that much consideration."
Ridiculous. Mr. Condit has already been accorded "that much" consideration (and more) over the past 15 weeks as the Levy investigation has, in spite of the man's initial failure to cooperate fully with police, continued all the way, splat, into a brick wall. It is safe to assume that either Bee, Modesto or Fresno, would have been happy to hear anything Mr. Condit might have had to say and passed it along to readers via the front page at any time along the way.
Of course, Mr. Condit's aggrievement doesn't end with this keen sense of the unfairness and disappointment of it all. "It is sad," he also wrote,"that the Bee did not appreciate my desire to talk and spend some time with my wife and children before I sat down for any public interview."
Two questions: How much is "some" time a day, 15 weeks, forever? And is the cold callousness of the big, bad Bee really what is "sad" about this case? When the Modesto newspaper called on Mr. Condit to resign, its front-page editorial castigated him for exhibiting throughout this ordeal a self-absorption that rates as "a lapse not only of judgment but of human decency." These are strong words, but true ones. A young woman may have gone missing because of that lapse of judgment and decency, a possibility, judging by the man's behavior, Mr. Condit seems unlikely to have entertained even now.
"Resignation is the proper course because Condit has irrevocably violated the public trust," wrote the Bee, which, incidentally, has endorsed every Condit congressional campaign. "He has abused his office, deceived his constituents and given Congress another black eye." Sounds like three strikes and he's out or should be.
Unfortunately, Mr. Condit shows every sign of wanting to pull a classic Clinton. With amazing brazenness, the congressman Monday night dispatched a spokesman (of course) to tell CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he does not intend to give up his plans to run for re-election. One would hope the voters in Mr. Condit's district would decline the offer of further service from this disgraceful character.

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