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Politicians who refuse to resign

June 23, 2011

Watching Anthony Weiner’s three-week refusal to resign despite wooful waves of wild worldwide wiener wantonness, I kept thinking about the one person in congress doing a worse job representing the electorate: Representative Gabrielle Giffords, from Arizona.

That comparison might seem cruel, but cruelty is not the intent here. This is about honor. "Why hasn't she resigned?" is the question that needs to be posed to her husband, her staff, and anybody else in her inner circle who loves and respects her, because they do her no favors by letting her cling to the job like a party guest who won't go home.

Nobody owns a seat in congress, and people who can't do the job they were elected to do should resign and let somebody else do it. If they can’t see the problem themselves, then the people around them need to help them make the right decision.

The failure to honorably resign by criminal, embarrassing, ineffectual, or physically incapacitated elected officials is a growing problem, symptomatic of ever-increasing amounts of power instilled in our federal government, the lust for retaining their share of that power by Washington, D.C., insiders, and ever-decreasing levels of personal integrity in American politics.

I have no ill-wishes or ill-feelings about Mrs. Giffords, and the dishonor is not hers. Reading between the lines of news reports about her health, I doubt this disinclination to resign is her decision. She almost certainly is incapable of making judgment calls of that magnitude. A bullet traveled through her head from back to front and cost her a third of her skull, which was recently replaced with plastic, leaving her unable to speak. Sunday her office released the first two photographs of the post-shooting Giffords, but they won't allow interviews so we don't know what her demeanor is, let alone how much her cognitive abilities have been damaged.

Most likely it's her staff, concerned about their own personal paychecks and government perks, who made the choice to withhold the resignation, which is sad and disgusting. While assuring themselves steady paychecks, they are besmirching Mrs. Giffords' honor whether they have the faculties to recognize that fact or not.

Meanwhile, the citizens of her congressional district have no representation for the foreseeable future, possibly until January of 2013.

I watched this same thing happen in my own congressional district, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, twenty years ago. Paul Henry – like Giffords a universally admired politician – became incapacitated by surgery for a brain tumor shortly before his reelection in 1992. He managed to attend his swearing-in ceremony in January of 1993 but never really functioned as a congressman again. He died July 31, 1993, and while I felt as bad as the next person, I disagreed with his staff's decision to cling to power long after they knew Mr. Henry was never coming back to Congress. It was an inexcusable decision which left a smear on a deceased man's otherwise sterling reputation.

Mrs. Giffords is no more capable of acting for her constituents right now than Mr. Henry was in 1993. I don't know her as well as I knew him, but I feel confident in guessing that neither one of them, at full capacity, would participate in the shams perpetrated by their employees in their name.

Ted Kennedy is another one. From the time he suffered his initial seizure on May 17, 2008, through all his various brain surgeries and cancer treatments, until his death on August 25, 2009, Kennedy was basically an absentee senator, occasionally wheel-chaired into public events as an emotional advertising slogan for liberal causes. His staff’s argument was that Ted Kennedy, even incapacitated, was better than anybody else from the state of Massachusetts… but you-know-and-I-know-and-God-knows that other, more vile, considerations kept Kennedy in office until the day of his death. Democrats needed his vote to maintain their super majority in the senate, Obama wanted his help winning the presidency, Harry Reid wanted his symbolic support for health care legislation… and Kennedy staffers wanted to keep getting federal paychecks as long as possible.

Speaking of Mr. Reid, I've previously mentioned that I don't think Harry is firing on all cylinders since his 2005 stroke, but good luck trying to prove it. His staff keeps him isolated from public exposure except for highly structured interview settings where he doesn’t have to speak extemporaneously. And even if you could prove that he’s cognitively impaired, there's no viable procedure for removing an elected official whose IQ has deteriorated.

That's why dummies and whackjobs are multiplying in congress like cockroaches behind a stove.

Look at Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Georgia), for instance: in a House Armed Services Committee hearing, he expressed his fear that the island of Guam would “tip over and capsize” if too many American troops went ashore.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), member of the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on Space, thinks Neil Armstrong planted a flag on Mars and wonders if anybody has seen it lately. She wants pictures. (She also thinks we won the Vietnam War and there are still two Vietnams, North and South.)

Rep. David Wu (D-Oregon) is so bat-crazy that his own staff staged multiple “interventions” last fall to urge him to seek psychiatric help and connived to keep him hidden from the public eye in the days before his November reelection. Instead of Tweeting pictures of his wiener, Wu emailed pictures of himself wearing a fuzzy tiger suit to female staffers while referring to himself as “wasted.” And he disappears at times.

Good job, Oregon voters. Next time you vote, keep in mind what Plato said two and half millennia ago:
"Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber."
In addition to the incompetent congresscritters (if that's not redundant) who won't resign, there's all the crooks, liars, and perverts. Former Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) was the poster boy for congressional shamelessness. In August of 2005 he was filmed by the FBI accepting $100,000 in bribe money, and then a couple days later they raided his home and found $90,000 of the bribe money hidden in his freezer. (He'd already spent $10,000, apparently.) He was caught dead to rights. Guilty as sin. But he didn't resign, oh no. In fact, he ran for reelection in 2008 and actually won the Democrat primary… which tells you all you need to know about Democrats. Fortunately he lost in the general election to a Republican, or America would have suffered the humiliation of watching a sitting congressman sentenced to thirteen years in prison.

Sadly, Jefferson's story is not unusual. In fact, the news of his arrest was so underwhelming to his congressional colleagues that when Democrats took over the House in 2007 Nancy Pelosi decided to put him on the Homeland Security Committee. No, that's not the punch line to a joke.

Among current congressmen we have:
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), former chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means committee (which writes the nation's tax laws), who was found guilty of tax evasion;

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), whose boyfriend ran a male prostitution business out of Barney's home;

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), whose number was found in the "D.C. Madam's" phone records and who was also a customer of the "Canal Street Madam";

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who repeatedly lied about having served in Vietnam while running for office;

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who is awaiting an ethics trial for personally benefiting financially on numerous occasions from her position as a congresswoman;

Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Indiana), who received campaign donations in return for earmarks for the PMA group (which is currently under investigation by the FBI);

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Illinois), who gave his wife hundreds of thousands of dollars from his campaign fund and promised to raise $5 million for Rod Blagojevich to buy Obama’s senate seat;

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who inserted a 2007 earmark for the specific purpose of increasing the value of her own personal real estate development in San Francisco;

Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), who grabbed federal bailout money to save the bank which he established and in which he’d invested most of his personal wealth;

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Florida), who was impeached and removed as a federal judge for accepting bribes, ran successfully for congress, and ever since has repeatedly been accused of sexual harassment by female staffers and colleagues;

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), who used charitable funds meant for worthy black students to reward her friends and family with college scholarships…
I can't even list them all. There's too many of them. These scumbags all have certain things in common: a lack of honor, an empty spot where normal people carry their dignity, black holes where they should have a conscience, zero sense of shame, and utter disdain for the notion of resigning.

Since the creepy little leeches won't leave voluntarily, there’s only one way to get rid of them. It's up to us, the voters, to make sure we clean house at election time... always keeping in mind that politicians are like diapers – they both need changing regularly and for the same reason.

From Reno, Nevada, USA       

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