A severe case of 'member head'
Jan 26, 2010 | 16988 views | 0 0 comments | 522 522 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A couple of years back, Pol Position got the rare chance to pick the brain of a political lobbyist who had strong ties to and worked closely with elected officials throughout the city, and therefore had the inside scoop on who would be jockeying for what position in the coming years. This was before the City Council overturned term limits, so the field was a lot more crowded and the open seats a lot more coveted.

When a member of the Pol Position staff suggested that an aging state senator might step aside to allow an up-and-coming councilman with an obviously bright political future to assume the post, he just let out a laugh.

He then told us about the transformation that occurs when a person gets elected to office, which he called "member head," and said that elected officials rarely voluntarily leave office, as they are convinced that the world will stop spinning the moment they return to public life.

We think we can understand "member head" - in our rare moments of self-reflection we here at Pol Position realize we might have an inflated self-worth of our own. That said, we don't know if there is a term yet for what ails State Senator Hiram Monserrate.

On Sunday, Monserrate characterized his bid to keep his seat in the State Senate following his conviction of assaulting his girlfriend as a “civil rights” battle. He then likened himself to a Queens College student who was killed in 1964 during the real Civil Rights Movement, although Monserrate had some of the facts in the case a little off. Monserrate's connection to this real civil rights pioneer? They both graduated from Queens College.

That, however, isn't actually the most outrageous comparison Monserrate has made to himself. Before he actually pled guilty to beating his girlfriend, he likened his plight to that of Jesus Christ. What we have here is a very severe case of member head.

Interestingly, Monserrate has been able to secure the services of noted civil rights attorney Norman Siegel to defend him, which actually adds some credibility to his argument. Time will tell if Siegel will be able to stomach Monserrate's outrageous statements and risk his own reputation trying to keep him in the State Senate.

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