Limbaugh-Size Hypocrisy, Part 2

“I do believe in faith, forgiveness, and redemption,” said cocaine-consuming congressman Trey Radel on Wednesday night during a press conference. The Florida Tea Party Republican admitted his addiction was a “disease” and that he was “owning up to his actions.” He said he wants to be held “accountable” and “rebuild the trust” of his constituents. He is taking a leave of absence while he seeks treatment. He wants to do all this for his “family and for his wife.” He talked about his “little guy,” his two-year-old son. He talked about his mom who “struggled with alcoholism” and how hard that was.

Until the end, when the congressman exited the news conference stage right, not one reporter in Cape Coral, Florida, ask him about his vote to force food stamp recipients to take drug tests in order to continue receiving help. Finally, as he left the room, someone asked about his vote on drug testing. He was, by then, gone. He disappeared without answering.

trey drug chargeThus, we have a man who wisely admitted he has a sickness, a problem that he can’t deal with on his own. He needs professional help, he said. But I don’t know if addiction professionals can help him admit that as part of his recovery, as part of his rehabilitation and redemption, he needs to emphatically and publicly admit that he was absolutely wrong to vote with his Republican colleagues on legislation that would force those who find themselves in need of government food assistance to submit to government-mandated drug testing in order to prove their fealty to drug laws and to receive benefits.

I wish him all the best in his difficult battle against addiction, but Trey Radel can never claim rehabilitation victory until he admits that he and his fellow Republicans, in their mean-spirited attempt to slander those who need public assistance to help ward off hunger, were wrong in tying food stamps to drug testing.

Let’s hope he comes back a new man in more ways than one.

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  1. Troy

     /  November 20, 2013

    BS! I hope he don’t come back at all! He already has received far better treatment than any of us poor slobs who would have done the same thing. He needs to resign. Enough of this kind of behavior is enough!


    • Oh, I know what you mean. But if there is a chance he comes back a better Republican, which is to say a non-Tea Party Republican, then that’s better for everyone. I don’t disagree that he has received better treatment than a lot of folks who got caught purchasing illegal drugs would have received. But I believe it better serves justice to point out the disparate treatment he received, in hopes that it will reform the justice system, than demand he be treated as ridiculously harsh as others have been treated. Perhaps some public good can come from the disparity in treatment and the congressman himself will even champion the reform of our drug laws.

      However, if he comes back the same unrepentant Tea Party asshole as he has been, and he has certainly been one, then you are right. He will have learned exactly nothing from his ordeal, except how to beat the system.


  2. ansonburlingame

     /  November 21, 2013

    There are 12 “traditions” in the AA (and NA) recovery programs. One, an important one, is that those programs take no position whatsoever on “other issues” besides recovery from addiction. AA would NEVER tell a politician how to vote, on anything, period, or a private citizen expressing political views.

    The Congressman has the most difficult personal challenge in his life right now. I wish him well as does Duane. I also will admit that given the nature of how he was “caught” by law enforcement, I have deep reservations now about his ability to achieve any lasting recovery. He seems to me to following the usual path, going into treatment to avoid penalities imposed by others, but NOT because he KNOWS he has a real personal problem that far exceeds his political problems. Very few succeed if they enter recovery because “their wife demanded they do so”!!

    For now he is doing the right thing, not voting on anything in Congress. In about a year the people of Florida can decide the next step for him, publicly. Until then, not voting in Congress is a wise first step, for him and the country.

    Now would you care to guess just how many others in Congress or government at large should be doing the same thing?



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