"When your seat is so safe that you're not concerned about perception, you become too wedded to Washington and you lose touch with your constituency, and you lose touch with your real purpose."
Want to guess who said that? Believe it or not, that was Karen Hanretty, a Republican strategist and former California Republican Party spokeswoman. And she was talking to the AP (via The Guardian [UK]) about the lovely Republican Congresscritters like John Doolittle and Gary Miller who
have been caught up in some naughty behavior lately. So what's happening? Are even Republicans starting to desert these crooked cons?
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(Cross-posted at Trash Dirty Gary and Calitics)
So what's happening? Are the Republicans finally waking up and smelling the strychnine? Is the culture of corruption finally too much for them?
The ethics cloud is discouraging the party faithful who've already watched the GOP shrink to minority status in California. And they add to the dilemmas of Republican strategists aiming to retake Congress next year following election losses blamed partly on GOP ethics problems.
``There is a sort of feeling among Republican activists who work hard to elect Republicans of, 'What the heck is going on here?''' said Los Angeles GOP analyst Allan Hoffenblum.
So I guess they're finally asking the questions that we've been asking all along. What the heck is going on here?
Why has Gary Miller been mixing his personal real estate business with his duty as a member of Congress to serve his constituents? Why has he put the desires of a developer in Upland over the needs of the people in his own district? And why the heck did he lie about "eminent domain" regarding that Monrovia land deal?
But of course, Gary Miller isn't the only crooked GOPer here. We also have Jerry Lewis. And John Doolittle. And Ken Calvert. Well, you get the picture. Thanks to all the sleazebags in Congress, California Republicans are in crisis mode.
No wonder why they're such a liability. Even Mr. FlashReport has to admit it:
But their problems make them less valuable allies for Republican presidential candidates looking to compete in California's primary, newly advanced to February. And the ethics clouds discourage a GOP base already chafing at moderate Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's constant compromises with Democrats.
``This is presenting a huge distraction from the debate over ideas that really needs to happen in terms of who's going to control Congress,'' said Jon Fleischman, a GOP activist in Orange County. ``It creates a degree of cynicism that is certainly real.''
Well, I wouldn't consider it a distraction, Mr. Fleischman. If anything, it shows the true colors of these so-called "conservatives". They're more interested in conserving and expanding their personal wealth and power than they are in serving the voters in their districts. That actually plays a huge part in the debate of ideas. It just so happens that all of their "ideas" are just business deals that benefit themselves and are a rip-off to the people they're supposed to serve.
No wonder why even Republicans are starting to have enough of these crooks.