Former Rehoboth Beach lifeguard Michael Scanlon was back in the news this week. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison on Friday for conspiracy in a hideously complicated case tied to the Jack Abramoff bribery and corruption scandal.
Scanlon had pleaded guilty back in November of 2005. I remember being struck by the local paper's headline, "Rehoboth Beach lifeguard pleads guilty to conspiracy." I thought it a sample of how a local newspaper -- all local media, really -- tried to keep a local focus on the news. I was a little charmed, if also scandalized, by the idea of a jet-setting lifeguard.
November 2005 seems a generation ago. Back then we were deep in the mire that was the Bush administration. The Abramoff scandal was the tip of an iceberg that only agonizingly slowly knocked some sense of how bad things had gotten into the public's mind.
It turns out that Scanlon has spent his time since then living up to the terms of a plea agreement that has seen him help bring the slow, but certain, tides of justice to bear on a collection of corrupt bastards. I guess it takes time.