"I will continue to take full responsibility, accept the consequences and battle the demons of addiction that are within me."
--Bob Ney at today's sentencing. (AP, 01.19.2007)
Washington D.C.--Corrupt former Ohio congressman Bob Ney was sentenced to 30 months in a Federal pen at Morgantown, West Virginia by U.S. District Judge Ellen SegalHuvelle. The sentence was harsher than the prosecution or the defense had wagered. Judge Huvelle noted:
The sentence was harsher than recommended by prosecutors or Ney's lawyers, Huvelle said, because Ney had violated the trust place on him as a public official. "Both your constituents and the public trusted you to represent them honestly," she said. Ney apologized to his family and constituents during a brief speech to the judge. (AP, 01.19.2007)This is pretty hard to disagree with, but Ney's still taking the "devil made me do it" defense--it wasn't the gall, it was demon alcohol. It wasn't his greed, or that he was a lowly-criminal behind his expensive suits and seersuckers--it was demon alcohol. It wasn't the fact that Mark Foley was a calculated pedophile who tried to get-away-with-it for years-and-years--it was demon alcohol.
This has happened before with the GOP, many-many times. We know "the decider" has had an alcohol problem, and probably still does. YET, White House Press Sec. Tony Snow remarked that Ney "isn't a reflection of the Republican party." Well, yeah, except he is, and so is the President, Vice President--hell, even Rumsfeld had a battle with the booze. Space literally doesn't permit this author from listing all the examples, but the President will suffice. We might be finding-out more details of his early-1970s DUI arrest soon.
Why do they drink so much? Nerves? Not getting any leg? Fear of exposure on other crimes and corruption? Ney's doctor said that his drinking worsened in 2001.
OK, the events of September 11th, 2001 could have contributed to this, but wasn't it really the GOP's moment of glory? They will never have those approval-ratings in twenty-years. Ney has past business-ties to Saudi Arabia (a security company). Did he have an insight into 9/11 that others didn't? He was Tom Delay's assistant. Surely, he had a bird's eye view of a lot. Considering the ongoing criminality under the GOP majority, he might have had good-reason to drink, and heavily. His nerves couldn't take it, he just wasn't the sociopath that many of his peers were (and are).
Why? Why, when the GOP had the White House and one House of Congress? The next-year, they had both Houses, and even the Supreme Court. What drove Bob Ney to drink more during this period? Was it knowledge of extraordinary crimes committed by the White House? It had to have been a knowledge of a multitude of things that the public still doesn't know. He was coping-with an external-pressure.
So what was it? It must be major. Do a google search, and you will find another oddity: many of the article headlines fail to mention Ney's party affiliation, while some articles don't mention it at all. This has occurred before, during the elections regarding Lieberman, and the scandal surrounding Mark Foley. The reasons for this kind of behavior should be clear. It was the booze, but they'll carry him back to Old Virginny regardless.