‘In the Family’s Best Interest,’ Ohio Style

Totally disgraced, Representative Bob Ney expects us to swallow the announcement that he’s leaving the November race “in his family’s best interests.”

Bob Ney, the ‘on the edge of indictment’ Representative from Ohio is stepping down from his run for election to an eighth term.

Yep, just like Nixon, they won’t have ol’ Bob to kick around anymore. It didn’t bother Ney for even a heartbeat that

  • He was named as ‘Representative #1’ in the Abramoff payoff scandals
  • House Speaker Dennis Hastert bounced him from his chairmanship of the Administration Committee
  • The House Ethics Committee (if it can only find its gavel) is poised to (possibly) bring him up (maybe) on charges
  • John Boehner, the Majority Leader put the screws to Ney, personally
  • He couldn’t raise any money because everyone thought he was a crook (which reads as being comfortably negotiable), but (worse than that) about to be proven a crook (a no-no)
  • Even his ‘ruby-red’ congressional district back home had some standards and Ney’s ruby-red slippers were thought to be no longer clickable

Those things, all of them done to cut Republican losses, rolled off
Bob Ney’s back. His reason for not running again wasn’t the gun to his
head or even his reputation among his grafting peers, it was his family’s best interests that he had at heart.
Repjohnboehner_2Explaining just what it is that interests Bob Ney’s family was pretty well spelled out in the sit-down he had with John Boehner.
It got Bob’s attention super-quick, when John spelled out the fact that there would be no extravagant K-Street job waiting for
a man who had burned his ticket to re-election and (way more
importantly) burned his party by losing a badly-needed seat. You’re a
nice guy, Bob, but you’re still only a number and don’t ever forget it.
That was something for Ney to ponder.
K-Street and a cushy lobbying job is the crème de la crème among
Senators and Representatives. Better yet, your own firm, but that’s way
beyond petty politicians like Ney. Out of reach even before he turned
up on Abramoff’s speed-dial.
It’s a nice warm feeling when those lobbyists come-a-callin’ with money
to spend. Amazingly, they continue to spend it among the smallest burps
of influence, like Bob. But they’re numbers guys and Bob is a number. A
number gets invited to parties, complementary restaurant chits, maybe a
girl when he needs one and is far away from home. Numbers qualify for
re-election dough in whatever amounts are needed.
In return, numbers are depended upon for a statement in the record
here and maybe an earmark for this or that piece of private enterprise.
But come up with those bare essentials and the scratch-my-back money
just keeps on rollin’.
But the payoff is after retirement. The keys to the luxury
cars and the homes with swimming pools, all of them reachable without
even the slightest chance of indictment, are to be found on K-Street

That great street
I just gotta say
They do things they don’t do on Broadway

else would anyone put up with the likes of Jack Abramoff, with his
smelly cigars, miserable little golf-outings and whiny voice, except
for the big prize? Hastert is reported to be already counting the
moments to retirement and opening his own lobby-shop. Boehner won’t be
far behind, if the Republicans get their clock cleaned in 2008.
But you don’t get anywhere near the long green of K-Street by giving
Hastert and Boehner heat. Bob Ney certainly doesn’t have the luster to
open his own lobbying sleaze-joint. But if he avoids screwing up by
losing the Republicans a seat in the House, he ought to be worth
something to someone.
If, that is, he can avoid the slammer. Maybe not even then, but arguing is a lose-lose when you’re only a number.
So, it’s family values time, the alternative to ‘pursuing
other opportunities’ or the ever-popular ‘spending more time with the
family.’ Since Bob hasn’t really got any other opportunities at the moment and since he’s likely to be spending way more time with lawyers than family, the values-thing has a certain attraction.
In their little heart-to-heart last week, Majority Whip Boehner
reminded Bob that, with his son already in college and a daughter soon
to go, he was going to need money. Not to mention the really big dough
that lawyers will suck up to keep those iron prison doors from
clanging. I don’t know this for a fact, but John may have whispered the name ‘Randy’ in Ney’s ear (as in Cunningham).
The Representative with the bad hair and the questionable contacts got the message.

“Ultimately this decision came down to my family. I must think of them first, and I can no longer put them through this ordeal.”

Sure, Bob.
Democrats are making much of these scandals, but it’s only fair to
point out that Republicans lead the parade of miscreants only because
(for the moment) the opportunity is theirs. My old daddy used
to say that if you run with dogs, you get fleas. There’s plenty of
scratching going on in the United States Congress on both sides of the
aisle. This tidying up up after dishonored politicians is a constant
housekeeping chore on the part of whoever controls Congress, be it Democrat or Republican.
Or K-Street.
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