You And Them

May 11, 2006 

Before you condemn Democrat Rep. Patrick Kennedy for appearing “to be intoxicated when he crashed his car into a barrier on Capitol Hill”, just consider how much more embarrassing national leaders can be when they really try.   

On the other side of the pond, British Liberal MP Mark Oaten resigned his leadership position after it was revealed that the married father of two young daughters had a predilection for hiring rent boys to “humiliate him with a bizarre sex act too revolting to describe”.  There is getting shitfaced and then...there is getting shitfaced! 

Kennedy, who claims he wasn’t drinking, offered up the mea culpa “that he had taken a sleeping pill and another drug that can cause drowsiness” and that he “Apparently...was disoriented from the medication”.  After a dissembling apology, Kennedy “said Friday he was entering treatment for addiction to prescription pain medication” (even though “pain medication” was never mentioned as a causal factor in the accident). 

Equally mendacious, Oaten blamed his demented romps with young male prostitutes on having a bad hair day...” I was turning 40 and I really felt that I was losing my youth. The problem was undoubtedly compounded by my dramatic loss of hair in my late thirties”.  It seems that “Oaten...never had doubts about his sexuality until the stress of his...job coincided with his mid-life anxiety”.  Of course Oaten sought counseling and apologized “for errors of judgment in personal behavior and for the embarrassment caused, firstly to my family but also to my friends, my constituents and my party”.   

All of this news sent me scurrying to reference, yet again, the report done by Capitol Hill Blue on Congress: America's Criminal Class.  As that report stated, “The 535 men and women who make up the House and Senate of the United States include, at best, a collection of rogues, con artists, scofflaws and bad check artists. At worst, they comprise...a distinct criminal class.” 

As Capital Hill Blue describes it, your Congress “is a disturbing...group of elected officials who routinely avoid payment of debts, write bad checks, abuse their spouses, assault people and openly violate the law.”   

This 1999 study is summarized as follows (and things haven’t changed much since 1999): 

Presently, we are suffering through the embarrassment of Navy ace Duke Cunningham serving eight years in prison for “accepting at least $2.4 million in bribes and underreporting his income for 2004”.  This felon “was a member of the Appropriations and Intelligence committees, and chaired the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Human Intelligence Analysis and Counterintelligence during the 109th Congress”. 

Not far behind is Louisiana Democrat Rep. William J. Jefferson.  Jefferson is at the center of a Federal investigation “for allegedly demanding cash and other favors for himself and relatives, in exchange for using his congressional clout to arrange African business deals”.  Although when “FBI agents raided Jefferson's homes in New Orleans and Northeast Washington...they found about $90,000 in cash in his freezer”, "Dollar Bill" Jefferson “has said he did nothing improper”.  This smells so bad that even Nancy Pelosi believes that “Jefferson should be investigated by the House ethics committee”. 

And then there is the case of West Virginia Democrat Rep. Alan Mollohan.  Mollohan is under investigation for committing 250 misrepresentations and omissions on his congressional disclosure forms for the last nine years.  Mollohan’s assets have grown from “$562,000 in 2000 to at least $6.3 million in 2004.”   

It seems that, “Mollohan used his position on the House Appropriations Committee to secure more than $150 million in appropriations for five nonprofit entities that he helped establish in his congressional district. One of the groups is headed by a former appropriations aide, Laura Kurtz Kuhns, with whom Mollohan bought $2 million worth of property on Bald Head Island, N.C.”   

Mollohan, until very recently the Democratic ranking member on the House Ethics Committee, is still the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations subcommittee that controls the budget of the Department of Justice. (Isn’t this a hoot?)   

And let’s not forget our friend Georgia Democrat Rep. Cynthia McKinney who punched out a Capitol Hill police officer for trying to do his job.  McKinney screamed racism and it seems that the case has been forgotten.  Next time you visit D.C. try getting away with that (but why would any civilized person wish to). 

None of this is new news, but when looked at as a group, it is a very disturbing portrait of national leadership. 

With: a war against terrorists trying to destroy our way of life; Iran on the brink of becoming a nuclear monster; citizens being financially bled to death by taxes and energy costs; brave troops dying on foreign soil; illegal immigrants threatening the security of our nation and China eating our economic lunch are these really the kind of people we want shepherding (excuse the pun) our future. 

If an elected Congress is supposed to be a representative microcosm of society, it’s little wonder that most of the uncivilized world attacks us with a sense of impunity.  Who can take us seriously if we are represented by clowns? 

Human failings are part of life, but that doesn’t mandate leadership by human failures. 

Would you invest your retirement savings in a company run by drunks, intemperate louts, petty thieves and sexual deviants?  Well, you’re counting on the security of a nation (which means your security) run by the same.   

“An amiable dolt!  An amiable dolt!  My kingdom for an amiable dolt!”

 

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