Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Mikhail "Gorby" Gorbachev and William "Taco" Sullivan
Gorbachev and Sullivan
In what many historian have cited as an "uncanny" twist of fate. Two former almost identical looking dictators found to have come from similar backgrounds also ended their respective careers with unexpected public criticism.
Mikhail Gerveevich "Gorby" Gorbachev was the Soviet Union Dictator from 1985 into the early 1990's. He is best known as a reformer and for the terms "glastnos" (openness) and "perestroika" (reform).
William "Taco" Sullivan was the Connecticut Supreme Court Chief Justice and Dictator in the early 2000's and is best known for ruling the State's judicial department with an "iron fist." He also "reformed" the Judicial Branch into the ultimate branch of the Connecticut government.
Both men resisted constant rumors that they were related. Gorbachev was quite older and grew up in the small villiage of Stravropol as a peasant. Sullivan was born much later and grew up on the mean streets of Waterbury, Connecticut. Both moved their careers along at a quick pace after obtaining coveted law degrees.
Neither man was able to dispute their striking resemblance. Gorbachev went to the extreme measure of ordering the KGB to simulate a port-wine stain (nevus flammeus) on his head to differentiate himself from Sullivan.
In the "small world" category both Gorbachev and Sullivan met with less than honorable exits from power. Gorbachev was subjected to a failed coup in 1991, which ultimately lead to the loss of his political power and then his resignation.
Sullivan was the subject of a highly publicized scandal after he held up the release of a Supreme Court Decision to help his friend, fellow Republican Peter "Almost Chief Justice" Zarella. Sullivan quickly resigned and was later determined to be unethical by the heretofore lackluster Judicial Review Council. However, unlike Gorbachev, Sullivan is still on the government payroll and making judicial decisions.
In a twist of historical irony, Gorbachev's concept of "glastnost" or openness was lost on his American colleague Sullivan. Gorbachev's career ended shortly after he pushed for "glastnost" openness and "perestroika" reform. Sullivan's career was crippled when he fought against openness and reform of the judicial branch. For example, Sullivan determined there was no need for anyone to know of his friend's Supreme Court decision limiting the Freedom of Information Commission before Zarella's appointment hearings before the hapless Connecticut legislature.
Issues concerning openness and reform led to the demise of both "Gorby" and "Taco."
That is a resemblance that is unmistakable.