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Politicians and Integrity: Mutually Exclusive Words - (time to replace RINOS w. statesmen)

Posted on 06/17/2005 8:54:39 PM PDT by CHARLITE

In a rush to be at the front of those arguing to close the Guantanamo prison facility, Mel Martinez, first term “RINO” senator from Florida, and favorite of the Bush administration in his recent election race against Bill McCollum, who was an “avant garde” terrorism expert with years of experience in the U.S. House of Representatives, placed himself with those who believe Guantanamo must be inhabited by “evil spirits” and should be closed.

The problem is that wherever those prisoners go, so will the evil spirits because evil spirits inhabit the prisoners. Is Martinez’s position designed to please his liberal supporters or is it to advance himself? In any event, his moment in the news gets nowhere with the vice president who says that there are no plans to close Guantanamo. And this writer says, “Bravo!” Of course, Congress can make it happen, but there isn’t one--not one representative or senator, certainly not Martinez--willing to expend the political capital to make it so.

Martinez, and perhaps others who are likeminded, speak in generalities as to how to proceed, but their lack of a definitive and viable alternative leads anyone who thinks to the inescapable conclusion that theirs is unabashed grandstanding--but for whom? It certainly isn’t for those who want “IslamoFascists” terrorists to be locked up and the key thrown away. Nor is it for anyone who understands the legal intricacies of why the prisoners are locked up at Camp X-ray in the first place. Rather, it is grandstanding for political one-ups-man-ship.

Martinez’s action is as old as the “oldest profession” and is used regularly by politicians who seek the limelight, which is almost all of them. Grandstanding is a well-known political tactic that keeps one's image and name in the news, no matter how it is done because it helps at election time. But for goodness sake, Martinez was only recently elected, and he’s at it already? That is as malodorous as Clinton (either one of them).

Another example of grandstanding is the local U.S. representative (who boastfully and regularly paints himself as a friend of veterans) is chairman of Veteran’s Affairs subcommittee and supposedly supports HR 303, a proposed amendment to Title 10 US Code. In fact, he is a co-sponsor of HR 303 along with 382 other members of Congress, more than enough to pass the legislation. But the bill remains in committee and now he and others refuse to sign the discharge repetition that would force it out for a floor vote.

By way of explanation, HR 303 ostensibly fixes a major inequity between VA disability payments to military retirees and non-retiree veterans. If a non-career veteran is discharged and has a service-connected disability, that person may receive between 10% and 100% disability payment ($100.00-$1000.00) from the VA tax-free. However, if the person is a retired military veteran with precisely the same disability and rating, that veteran’s retirement compensation is reduced by the amount of the disability payment. This example of anti retiree veteran bias by DoD and the Congress is commonplace and hypocritical.

Both political parties are guilty of disingenuous praise for the “troops” while “stabbing” in the back those who devoted the best years of their lives for the preservation of freedom. Is it any wonder that the Army is now in its fourth month of not being able to reach it's recruiting goals? Congressional behavior certainly contributes to the failure since this example is just one more reason not to enlist.

Self-serving politicians (yes, it’s redundant) first action upon being confronted with an issue is to assess whether or not it would benefit or harm ones political career. Then they check the votes to see whether or not their vote would matter. If not, they can grandstand their vote, “See, I voted against the president,” while knowing full well that the issue would pass anyway, but it gives them a chance to grandstand. The local U.S. representative is sponsor of HR 303, so why the decision to withhold a vote for cloture? Answer: Because he was told how to vote! In the alternative he did not support HR 303 in the first place.

How many Martinezes and other grandstanders does the reader know? It’s time to think about replacing one or both of them and the major parties with parties comprised of statesmen, not political lackeys and careerists.

Semper Fidelis

About the Writer: Bob joined the US Marine Corps in February of 1959 and retired in October 1989. He served two combat tours in Vietnam; and flew 500 missions in the F-4 and OV-10 aircraft. His military awards include LoM (2), DFC (2), (SM)AM (2), (SF)AM(24), Purple Heart, MSM, BS (V), and NCM. Bob is married to his best friend, has a fabulous stepson and daughter-in-law and two wonderful, magnificent, lovely, precious, heart-melting grandchildren. Col. Bob receives e-mail at

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections; US: Florida; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 109th; betrayal; congressmen; florida; integrity; melmartinez; politicians; politics; rinos

1 posted on 06/17/2005 8:54:41 PM PDT by CHARLITE
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I voted for Martinez this time. I doubt if I do next time, assuming that he runs for re-election.

2 posted on 06/17/2005 8:57:45 PM PDT by sport
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To: sport

I wanted McCollum.

Post primary I had to vote for Martinez.

Hopefully, the next time, Martinez will be gone with the primary.

3 posted on 06/17/2005 9:42:37 PM PDT by adorno (The democrats are the best recruiting tool the terrorists could ever have.)
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