- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 7, 2002

Here's something to be thankful for. Rep. Gary Condit of California isn't going to plague us interminably with his presence and unrepentant attitude. He won't be in the limelight, and he won't be back in Congress. The voters in his home district in California, are apparently and rightly fed up with his reprehensible conduct in the disappearance of Chandra Levy, have handed him his walking papers.

Mr. Condit lost his primary bid for re-election to state Assemblyman Dennis Cardoza, a former Condit staffer who himself evinced disgust with the congressman's stonewalling and equivocating. Mr. Cardoza, in fact, defeated Mr. Condit by an impressive 56 percent to 36 percent an remarkable turnabout of fortune for the six-term congressman, who had been deemed unchallengeable prior to the disappearance of Miss Levy. "Today the people of the Central Valley stood up for their values, the values that are central to our lives," Mr. Cardoza said yesterday. "You stood up for the opportunity, you stood up for responsibility, you stood up for our community." Mr. Condit, for his part, skulked away with a pro forma concession speech.

The rest of us will remember the disgraceful way in which Mr. Condit obstructed the investigative efforts of D.C. police, and later, the FBI, by his silence and lack of cooperation. The pleas of Miss Levy's parents never moved Mr. Condit. Like another sordid politico who came and now is gone, all that ever mattered was his "political viability."

His lack of contrition even any awareness of having done anything inappropriate manifested itself during the campaign, when Mr. Condit complained that "The media spent $100 million casting a negative message out there" that was "totally irresponsible" and "not factual." In his own mind, Mr. Condit continues to see himself as the victim. He still doesn't get it. We can be thankful that the voters of the 18th Congressional District did.


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