By Paul M. Banks
If you watched the Roger Clemens hearing this week, you probably noticed Clemensâ€™ â€œtell.â€ Every time Clemens felt anxiety or fear (possibly because of forthcoming unjust repercussions, possibly because he was LYING) he licked his lips.Â The other memorable aspect of the hearing for me was Indiana representative Dan Burton, who did nothing to change my hatred of Roger Clemens nor the state of Indiana. Burton devoted his questioning period to nothing but vitriol for Brian McNamee, and extolling the virtues of Clemens. He really appeared to have a man-crush on Clemens and treated McNamee as if he was a â€œbitch who done his man wrong!â€ Whatâ€™s interesting about Burton is that he is one of your stereotypical condescending moralist types. He likes to tell everyone else how to be wholesome and pure, despite his personal history being anything but. A simple search on Wikipedia tells us everything to know about Dan Burton. From his wikipedia entry:
About His Dysfunctional and Macabre Obsession with Bill Clinton…
â€œBurton was one of the most ardent opponents of President Bill Clinton. Rep. Burton led the House inquiry into the death of Vincent Foster; he was convinced that Foster was murdered and urged extensive investigation into the possible involvement of the Clintons. Burton gained attention for re-enacting the alleged crime in his backyard with his own pistol and a pumpkin standing in for Foster’s head. After hearings into Democratic fundraising (see section below) began, a Democratic National Commitee staffer appeared in a pumpkin suit with a button that read, “Don’t shoot.”
The Hypocrisy of his supposed “Family Values”…
In September 1998, Burton admitted to fathering a son, born in 1983, with a former state employee.HYPERLINKÂ \l “_note-Salon” After the admission, one report claimed, “During part of the 1970s and ’80s, Dan Burton was known as the biggest skirt-chaser in the Indiana legislature … Privately, some of his fellow Republicans expressed embarrassment. Lobbyists whispered about the stories of Burton’s escapades. Statehouse reporters joked about him. Yet no one ever wrote about, or probably thought about writing anything. To the people who sent him first to the legislature and then to Congress, Burton was Mr. Conservative, the devout husband and father who espoused family values.”
His Degree in Geography and Military History….
â€œOn March 29, 1995, during congressional hearings on the US War on Drugs, Burton proclaimed that the US military should place an aircraft carrier off the coast of Bolivia and crop dust the coca fields. It was later pointed out to him that a) Bolivia is landlocked and has no coast (Burton was chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee); b) the Bolivian coca fields (in the yungas and Amazon lowlands) are beyond the reach of any carrier-borne crop-duster, being separated from the nearest coastline (the Pacific coast of Peru and Chile) by the 20,000+ feet high peaks of the Andes; and c) F-18s cannot crop-dust. While criticism of this mis-statement was muted in Washington, it sparked a major anti-American backlash in Bolivia, derailing the same War on Drugs that Burton purported to be speaking for.â€
Burton’s laughable Leadership Abilities…..
â€œIn 1997, Burton headed an investigation into possible Democratic Party campaign finance abuse, focusing on the 1996 Presidential election. The committee investigation ran for several years and issued over 1,000 subpoenas of Clinton administration officials and cost over $7 million.. The committee, and Burton’s leadership, were labeled a “farce”, a “travesty”, a “parody”, and “its own cartoon, a joke, and a deserved embarrassmentâ€
His Controlled Substance double-standardsâ€¦â€¦.
In 1990, Burton introduced legislation that would require the death penalty for drug dealers. “We must educate our children about the dangers of drugs,” Burton said, “and impose tough new penalties on dealers.” In 1994, son Dan Burton, Jr. (Danny) was arrested while transporting nearly eight pounds of marijuana from Louisiana to Indiana. Just five months later, while awaiting trial in that case, police raided his Indianapolis apartment and Danny was arrested again for growing thirty marijuana plants. Police also found a shotgun in the apartment. Under federal law, Danny faced a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison just for the gun, plus up to three years in prison under state law for all the marijuana. Federal charges were never filed, and Indiana prosecutors got his charges dismissed. In Louisiana, he wound up receiving a mild sanction: a term of community service, probation and house arrest
No wonder Congress has an approval rating lower than W. If thatâ€™s still possible these days. Perhaps the for and against Clemens camps in Congress are indeed breaking downÂ right down partisan lines. But remember this: the GOP has Dan Burton on their side.
Game. Set. Match to the Dems and McNamee here.
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