People Behaving Badly

Tuesday morning was one of many where I did not know what I would write about when I woke up. As I was reading the morning papers online, knowing that my next task was to write, the news flash came across that Max Cleland had died and my agenda was set. I had several notes about incidents of bad conduct by elected Republicans and this just anchored the article in my mind.


Cleland served one term in the Senate and was defeated by Republican Saxby Chambliss in 2002. I distinctly remember the ad Chambliss ran trying to link Cleland to Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Remember this is in the wake of 9/11.


Like any elected official Cleland was subject to second guessing and criticism especially if you were of a different political party and/or philosophy. Chambliss attacked him on his patriotism which was unquestionable. Cleland was a Vietnam veteran who left both legs and his right arm there before he returned home. After some rehab work Cleland entered a life of public service and his biggest cause was veterans’ issues.


By contrast Chambliss never served and stayed out of the war by virtue of two deferments. I’m not knocking deferments; in many cases they served the public interests and/or were necessary. I’m just saying it is distasteful (and I’m being kind in my choice of words) to attack a triple amputee veteran’s patriotism especially if you (like me) never wore the uniform. My axiom is you can hate the war but respect the warrior. Nobody that I know of cuts their own orders.


That type of behavior is still happening. Here are recent several examples of Republican elected official behaving badly.


Republican Missouri Senator and presidential hopeful Josh Hawley of Missouri is claiming that one of the problems with America is that too many women are in college. You read that correctly and it doesn’t make any sense. However, women with college degrees tend to vote Democratic; perhaps that was the “problem” Hawley was really concerned with.


Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz is angry with Sesame Street character Big Bird. It seems that Big Bird got his COVID vaccine shot on TV. Somehow Ted thinks that getting vaccinated against a deadly disease is brainwashing the children of America.


Arizona Republican Representative Paul Gosar tweeted an altered video in which he kills fellow Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacks President Biden. My degree is not in medicine, but even a brief observation of Gosar reveals that he is suffering from a physical affliction; is it possible it has now affected his brain? I’m not promoting DC fights but despite AOC’s gender and Biden age I am willing to bet they could both kick Gosar’s behind.


Georgia Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, (she of the no committee assignments), recently tweeted about investigating all the money spent on the Russia probe implying that it was all a waste and witch hunt. She isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to business (more proof below) because she looked only at the expense and not the larger revenue side of the investigation. Plus, it actually did result in both indictments and convictions unlike say Benghazi.


“Business genius” Greene reportedly invested $50,000 in Donald Trump’s latest business venture (read: scam). What is it that Barnum is reputed to have said?


I don’t know where the bad behavior in American politics started. Some claim it is in the wake of Watergate. Other say Newt Gingrich brought it to DC. All I know – and proved today, (and there is much more evidence) – is that it started long ago and is still going strong.


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