Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Politicians in Recovery: Giving Alcoholics a Bad Name

By John W. Lillpop

Why is it that every time a politician gets in trouble these days, he immediately pleads alcoholism and or drug addiction, enters a rehabilitation center, prays to God and family for forgiveness, and demands to be coddled like a helpless baby for years to come?

Where are all the honorable miscreants, the tough guys who quit drinking and using only when forced to as a result of slipping into in a substance-induced coma or blackout. I am speaking of the salt of the earth types who think that “12-steps” is a field sobriety test administered by Smokey to see if one can walk twelve full steps, on his or her own, in a straight trajectory without losing consciousness.

I refer to those rugged individualists whose sole purpose in entering a rehabilitation center would be to transact underground, tax-free, business with addicts confined there.

By contrast, politicians like Mark Foley and Patrick Kennedy use rehabilitation centers as quasi-religious sanctuaries to buy enough time for their aberrant behaviors to be replaced as “Breaking News” items with more current offenses.

In this regard, Foley and Kennedy are very much like Elvira Arellano, the illegal alien who took refuge in a Chicago church rather than submit to deportation to Mexico.

But whereas Arellano made her stand, at least in part, in order to protect her seven-year old son, Foley and Kennedy use spirituality-based facilities to escape responsibility from their self-indulgent excesses and, in the case of Foley, immorality.

May a Higher Power place a pox on both their houses!

John W. Lillpop is a recovering liberal.