It appeared to be a sign of sheer desperation when former Illinois
governor Rod Blagojevich's attorney, in his closing argument last week,
used as a defense the fact that Blagojevich isn't "the sharpest knife
in the drawer."
But actually this is a real issue, at least in government ethics. It is
often hard to tell the difference between incompetence and misuse of
office. Take local government attorneys, for example. Many of them
officials off the hook with poor ethics advice, but many others lack
both a basic understanding of government ethics and the
professionalism to say so. As for local government officials, many of them also make ethical decisions
without a basic understanding of government ethics, and without
consulting the appropriate individuals or laws.