Congressional Victims of Alcoholism…and Hypocrisyitis

Rep. Trey Radel (R-Florida)

Rep. Trey Radel (R-Florida)

Right-wing political operatives deserve credit for their impressive inventiveness.

In particular, they have created the “Rob Defense” for public officials who get caught engaging in bad personal behavior, such as sexual misconduct, snorting cocaine, and bribery. When nabbed in an act of naughtiness, the standard defense thrown out by politicians of all stripes has been to blame “stress of overwork” and to apologize to “anyone who is offended” by their grossly offensive action.

But that excuse is overused, so advisors to right-wing bad boys have invented a new defense: Just claim to have been “in a drunken stupor” at the time. So, see, it really wasn’t their fault – blame the booze! The Rob Defense is named for Rob Ford, the almost-comically offensive mayor of Toronto, who keeps explaining that his crack cocaine use, abusive rages, and other antics only happen when he’s sozzled, totally blotto.

Recently, though, a tea party congress critter from Florida added a clever refinement to The Rob. Arrested in November for buying cocaine in Washington, Rep. Trey Radel dolefully confided in a press release that, “I struggle with the disease of alcoholism.” That’s a shrewd touch, for you get extra public sympathy if you’re a victim of disease?

jim hightower

But let’s note that Trey also suffers from another disease he didn’t mention: Political Hypocrisyitis. Barely a month earlier, Radel had joined his Republican colleagues to bash poor people by voting to require mandatory drug tests for all welfare recipients. Did alcoholism make him do that, too?

The poverty program pays under $200 a month for a family of four, while Radel draws more than $14,000 a month from us taxpayers. If Congress really wants to kick drug abusers off the public dole, its best odds of finding some would be to start testing its own members.

Jim Hightower
America’s #1 Populist

Published by the LA Progressive on December 14, 2013
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About Jim Hightower

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be - consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.

Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top.

Hightower is a modern-day Johnny Appleseed, spreading the message of progressive populism all across the American grassroots.

He broadcasts daily radio commentaries that are carried in more than 150 commercial and public stations, on the web, and on Radio for Peace International.

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