Blow Me Away

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Every year, in December, the International Order of Peter Pan awards its annual “I’ll Never Grow Up” award to the adult public figure who, in the society’s opinion, has delivered the most compelling public portrayal of arrested development for the year. 

Christmas, of course, is a natural time of year for this particular awards ceremony because . . . well, we all get to be kids again, for a bit.

So, without further ado, the winner of this year’s “I’ll Never Grow Up” award goes to Henry J. Radel, III aka Trey, the Hip-hop Conservative.

Trey has had a “colorful” past, reflected in his resume, that suggests a little Career ADD—in the 13 years since Radel graduated from college he has done stints as: an actor and comedian; journalist, working as both an anchor and as a reporter; TV and radio talk show host; owner of the Naples Journal community newspaper; and Founder of Trey Communications LLC, a conservative media relations firm which also purchased and sold internet domain names. 

He was only ten months into his latest gig—U.S. Representative—when he had the misfortune to be caught up in a drug sting for buying some coke to help him with his alcohol addiction . . . ?

Hip-hop Trey is now fresh off his month of court-ordered rehab, all better, and ready to get back to doing the People’s Business despite the fact that numerous members of his party, to include the governor of his state, Rick Scott, have urged him to do the right thing and resign from office.

Three days ago, the House Ethics Committee voted unanimously to investigate Radel for violations of the House code of conduct.  Not a single Republican on the committee held out for a Radel “second chance.”.

Undaunted, Trey figures he knows what’s best for Trey and the country [in that order]:

I love what I do, and I’m going to return to what I do, what you sent me to do in D.C.  No-one will take away my passion when it comes to serving southwest Florida.

Yarite?  Despite my happiness for Radel’s job satisfaction, this is, nevertheless, a young man who loves what he does so much that he was willing to risk his job and the security of his young family to buy cocaine down the street from where he works.  Most teenagers are smarter than that.

So, despite the fact that Trey loves what he does [who wouldn’t? great pay and benefits, flexible hours, no drug-testing] and promises that he confines his boozing and doping to his “personal” time, if I’m his constituent, I might still be a little concerned about the man’s judgment, values and priorities.

At any rate, there is a standard operating procedure for this sort of wrinkle in a politician’s career and Radel appears to be following along with the script:

First, there’s the admission of guilt phase and heartfelt apologies to family and constituents:

I’m profoundly sorry to let down my family, particularly my wife and son, and the people of Southwest Florida.  I struggle with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice. As the father of a young son and a husband to a loving wife, I need to get help so I can be a better man for both of them.

Believe me, I am disappointed in myself, and I stand ready to face the consequences of my actions. However, this unfortunate event does have a positive side. It offers me an opportunity to seek treatment and counseling. I know I have a problem and will do whatever is necessary to overcome it, hopefully setting an example for others struggling with this disease.

Check.

Next, there’s the reparations phase which might take place in prison [rarely], therapy and/or rehab, as appropriate:

Today, I checked myself into a facility to seek treatment and counseling.  It is my hope, through this process, I will come out a better man. I will work hard to gain back the trust and support of my constituents, friends and most importantly, my family.

Then there’s the justification phase:

Radel told a Washington Post reporter that the last few weeks of intense debate regarding the partisan government shutdown and new health-care law had been “stressful” on his young family. Radel’s wife, Amy, and their young child have been splitting their time between Washington and their Florida home so that the young family can be together more often.

On Friday, Radel recounted how at the height of the 16-day shutdown, he had to drive his wife and child home to Florida because of an ear infection. He did not specify when the trip occurred.

“Alcohol does not work for me,” Radel said. “It was selfishly fun, but it became a problem when it led to poor choices and more than that missed opportunities. It never interfered with my congressional obligations, but it led me down a path that slowly but surely chipped away at my relationship with my wife, my child and God. And it led to really bad decisions which put me here today.”

and:

I’ve been treated for the disease of alcoholism.  Alcohol is my issue.

Check.

Then it’s time for the Come to Jesus phase:

“Alcohol is my issue,” he said. “I know (sic) have a step by step program and a rediscovery of faith and family and God, which I had lost over the years to focus on what’s important.”

Speaking at a podium just feet from his wife, Radel said that he would attend daily addiction meetings and reconnect with his “spiritual side.”

“I do believe in faith, forgiveness and redemption and I hope to come out of this a stronger man, a better man for all of you.”

Check.

And, finally, there’s the “happy families” phase replete with photo ops like this:

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That’s Mrs Hip-hop Conservative off in the wings dressed in black . . . can’t say that I blame her.

Mrs Hip-hop also had a turn at the mic in which she testified:

We’ve been together for 10 years and he’s been awesome, even though he has struggles in life, as do many people. So I’m actually really hopeful, and I’m really excited about the bigger, better, stronger Trey.

Check.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of sympathy for people who struggle with addictions, some of my family, coworkers and friends, over the years, were so afflicted.

But, I have to say that this man strikes me as a BS-er who will say anything for the greater honor and glory of Trey.  Maybe that’s a manifestation of his addiction, I don’t know.  But, I think he ought to focus on his rehab before he makes any big decisions for himself - or others.

Here are some inconsistencies I see:  Radel is spending quite a few words making sure that his problem appears to be alcoholism, rather than cocaine, which would be a felony, and very dimly viewed, in his home district of Southwest Florida.  If Trey Radel had been caught buying cocaine at home in Naples, he’d be talking to us from a cell right now, rather than complaining about being harassed in rehab.

To support the alcohol vs. cocaine addiction storyline, Radel has said that he only dabbled in cocaine a handful of times—in his entire life.  So. OK, since your drug of choice is alcohol, just like so many of your colleagues, why not just join them for drinks instead of risking arrest buying coke on the street in DC?  Doesn’t make sense to me.

Additionally, when asked when he started using cocaine, Radel said that, like so many others, he “experimented” with drugs in college.  Well, that was 14 years ago and the man is still “experimenting?” 

And, of course there was the time when he confided to his coworker that his hiking trips in Colombia were memorable for the world class blow he had there.  A time or two more . . . ?

And then there are the court records that state that, before he was finally arrested, Radel purchased cocaine several times in DC since arriving there less than a year before:

The federal arrest records show the freshman Radel had a regular dealer. He was known to “purchase cocaine for his personal use and also, on occasion, share it with others,” according to the Statement of Offense signed by defendant Henry J. Radel, III, on Nov. 20, 2013.

So, I gather I’m supposed to believe that this man arrives on a new, prestigious job in the nation’s capitol and suddenly gets a hankering for a drug he experimented with in college, just on his own personal time, of course.  He hooks up with a street dealer and gets caught in a sting buying not an experimental few snorts but an officianado amount - an Eight-ball which, for the uninitiated, is quite a lot of blow.

According to Radel:

I don’t lie. What I am doing is taking full responsibility and being held accountable among all aspects.

I guess we’ll have to take his word for it.  But we don’t have to keep him in our Congress, do we?

 

Posted by Bette Noir on 12/20/13 at 12:24 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsBedwettersElection '14NuttersTeabaggery

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Mrs. Hip Hop Conservative looks like Morticia Addams.

Not really. Morticia was pretty hot.

Yeah, Mrs. Hip Hop looks more Xanaxed than anything else.

Arrested development, but sadly, not arrested, period!

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