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Republicans ain’t no saints either, Elvis

February 25, 2012

[27th J.P.'s Moment of Common Sense on Broad View, KBZZ 1270 AM Reno.]

Elvis Presley once said, “I ain't no saint, but I have tried never to do anything that would hurt my family or offend God.” Unfortunately for Elvis, his precept left a lot of elbow room for doing wrong and the poor man died on the floor by his toilet with fourteen different drugs in his system.

Like Elvis, Republicans do a lot of talking about family and God but it’s best to remember that politicians are politicians, not saints. The fact that a candidate for office is not a Democrat might be a good starting point, but leaves a lot of elbow room for doing wrong. February has given us four examples of Republicans embracing the dark side of the force: Richard Lugar, senator from Indiana; Spencer Bachus, congressman from Alabama; Jo Bonner, another congressman from Alabama; and Ron Paul, congressman from Texas.

That last name is familiar because he’s also running for president. Based on his morals, he shouldn’t be running for dogcatcher.

Politicians are like coyotes – you don’t look for coyotes you can trust, you build a chicken coop and keep the coyotes out of it. The coop we built to keep the government away from our chickens is old, full of holes, and it seems like I wake up every morning to find another chicken missing.

Richard Lugar has been a senator from Indiana since 1977 and hasn’t lived or owned a house in Indiana that whole time. As soon as he won the election in 1976 he put his house up for sale and moved to Washington, D.C., permanently. He still uses the house he sold in 1977 as the address on his driver’s license, still flies back to vote for himself in that precinct, and still lists the house as his residence when he files for reelection every six years... even though complete strangers have been living there for the last 35 years.

Maybe I’m simple minded, but it sounds to me like Lugar isn’t really a resident of Indiana, so he shouldn’t be representing them in Congress.

Spencer Bachus was prominently featured in a 60 Minutes story back in November exposing how members of congress use inside information to make themselves rich. That’s illegal for the rest of us, but congresscritters do it all the time. That’s how they go to Washington poor and come home rich. Bachus, however, was doing so in a particularly egregious manner, using his position as ranking Republican on the House Financial Services Committee to gather critical information, then buying or selling options based on that information. On Sept. 18, 2008, for instance, at the height of the economic meltdown, Bachus had a closed-door meeting with Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke about the state of the economy. The next day he made $18,000 trading options.

On February 9, the Office of Congressional Ethics announced that Mr. Bachus is under investigation. I don’t care what political party you prefer, you should be hoping this slime ball gets the book thrown at him.

His fellow Alabama congressman, Jo Bonner, isn’t accused of enriching himself, merely of forgetting what he was hired to do. Bonner is chairman of the House Ethics Committee, which has been investigating California congresswoman Maxine Waters for almost two years now. She used her position to garner special favors for her husband’s bank... and by “special favors” I mean money. Taxpayer money. Our money. On February 11, worried to a frazzle by the investigation, Waters publicly called the Republicans “demons” and accused them of racism. Six days later all the Republicans on the committee, led by Bonner, resigned.

Bonner isn’t the crook here. Maxine Waters is. But Bonner is a coward and that’s almost as bad. If nobody is willing to stay in the kitchen and face the heat, the coyotes are going to be standing at the stove dipping and frying chicken like they own the place.

Ron Paul’s case is simple. For years the congressman from Texas has been getting double reimbursements for his flights. When a sitting congressman flies back to his district from Washington, he buys the plane ticket with his credit card, then submits his travel voucher and gets reimbursed. The government pays for that flight, as it should. Ron Paul’s scam was to resubmit the same travel expense to private entities and collect a second reimbursement. The cheap bastard was making money on his plane tickets!

His excuse? He says “inadvertent errors were made” and “absolutely zero taxpayer funds were misused.” Listen closely, Mr. Paul: the issue isn’t about misusing taxpayer funds – the issue is your dishonesty.

I’m afraid if Ron Paul was president we’d have to pay for every Air Force One flight twice – once when the government filled the tank with jet fuel, and once when Ron Paul got reimbursed for it.

It’s important that conservatives neither make nor accept excuses for these four men, vote them out of office as quickly as possible, and learn the pertinent lesson once and for all: evil is inherent to the nature of government and the only way to limit that evil is to limit what government is allowed to do. Looking for a vegetarian coyote is a waste of time.

That's... today’s dose of common sense..

"There is something about a Republican that you can only stand him just so long; and on the other hand, there is something about a Democrat that you can't stand him quite that long." – Will Rogers

"America has the best politicians money can buy." – Will Rogers

From Reno, Nevada, USA       

February 26, 2012 - Great Comentary. Thanks for identifying these crooks no matter what their party affiliation is. Lifetime politicians is a big part of our problem. - Charlie H., Michigan

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