Swampy Washington needs a second Washington
It has long been my pessimistic opinion that most politicians disappoint. I’d like to be disabused of this belief. Instead, it keeps being confirmed.
Prior to becoming president, Donald Trump's life was riddled with scandal, infidelity, womanizing, and multiple bankruptcies. Trump University flopped and the Trump Foundation ended its existence with a restrained thud. There were beauty pageant infractions, housing discrimination biases, and multiple cases of fiscally curious casino dealings. He was linked to tenant intimidation and, in the late 1970s, the mafia. Despite of all of that, in 2016, he was a more palatable choice for Middle America than Hillary Clinton.
Enter Joe Biden, who is quickly becoming no stranger to the back-page scandals. The former vice president was President Obama's point man on cleaning up corruption in the Ukraine, where his son, Hunter, happened to land a high-paying, do-little position with a corrupt energy company. Now the U.S. Attorney's Office is investigating Hunter's taxes and his dealings with Chinese nationalists with potential ties to poppa Biden.
Despite these warts, and questions about his cognitive capabilities, America welcomed this lifetime politician to office with a record presidential vote.
Do any of these folks have closets that aren’t filled with skeletons? Consider the rapid fall from grace of once Democratic darling Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Yet his multiple accusations of workplace sexual harassment and bullying are relatively mild compared to the latest abomination involving Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz. Gaetz is being investigated for sex trafficking violations and extortion tied to his alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Gaetz’s sexual liaisons appear numerous and he has reportedly been happy to share the photos with colleagues.
Scandals, sex-related and otherwise, aren't a partisan matter. Members of both political parties have fleeced taxpayers and abused their offices. The swamp continues to bubble over with corruption, dishonesty, sleaze, and greed. We need a 21st century version of George Washington.
In the past 21 years, members of Congress have used at least $17 million in taxpayer money to settle sexual harassment claims brought against them by staffers. Recent examples include settlements paid on behalf of then-Reps. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) and John Conyers (D-Mich.) for separate instances of alleged sexual misconduct.
Here's a fraction of the immorality of the political class during the time of the Obama and Trump administrations.
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) resigned from Congress due to multiple sexting scandals.
William Mendoza, executive director on American Indian and Alaskan Native Education under Obama, pleaded guilty to attempted voyeurism, using his government-issued iPhone to take pictures up the skirts of several women on the D.C. Metro.
Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Penn.) was found guilty of 23 charges including racketeering, money laundering, and fraud.
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) violated banking rules and lied to the FBI in a scheme to pay $3.5 million in hush money to conceal sexual misconduct with an underage boy.
Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) resigned after evidence surfaced that he used campaign funds for travel and redecorated his office with taxpayer funds to resemble the sets of the Downton Abbey TV series.
Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) was found guilty of wire fraud, conspiracy, extortion, racketeering, money laundering, and making false statements to insurance regulators.
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) pleaded guilty to felony fraud for using $750,000 of campaign money to buy personal items such as stuffed animals, elk heads and fur capes.
Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) was found guilty of fraud for using $800,000 from a fake charity for her own use.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and his wife were convicted of dozens of charges, including wire fraud and using campaign funds for personal use. Trump pardoned him.
Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) pleaded guilty to insider trading and lying to the FBI. Trump pardoned him.
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) orchestrated a scheme to steal money from charitable foundations and was convicted of 23 felonies. Trump commuted his sentence.
Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) resigned when confronted about asking some of his staff to be sexual surrogates.
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, tried to sell an Illinois Senate seat to the highest bidder. Convicted of conspiracy and soliciting bribes, Trump commuted his sentence.
This list is a gruesome example of the too many morally bankrupt candidates who slither to D.C. Sex, drugs, money, and an unquenchable thirst for power should not be what fuels Washington. The moral values of average Americans can't be this bankrupt.
"Drain the Swamp."
Lee Elci is the morning host for 94.9 News Now radio, a station that provides "Stimulating Talk" with a conservative bent.
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