Sunday, October 15, 2006

Giving Alcoholics a Bad Name

Bob Ney, the Ohio congressman (Republican, of course) who pleaded guilty yesterday to bribery charges as part of the Jack Abramoff scandal, has followed in Mark Foley's footsteps and "admitted" (or perhaps "disclosed") that he is an alcoholic.

I've known several alcoholics in my life (in fact, some of them might be bcc's on this e-mail ... or might not), and not one of them has ever been a pedophile or a bribe taker. In my admittedly second-hand experience, alcoholism can lead to many things, but not the type of conscious decisions that these criminals have made and acted upon. Mark Foley was not under the influence of alcohol when he sent those instant messages; nor was Bob Ney drunk when he took those bribes.

I truly believe we need to flood our newspapers and radio and television stations with letters decrying this abuse of a group of people who are no more criminals than society at large and demanding that they set the record straight. Those who are alcoholics, those who know alcoholics, and those who help alcoholics in recovery need to speak up. The "mainstream media" must be forced to tell the truth so that "alcoholism" stops being a convenient public excuse for politicians caught in orruption and criminality!

I'm open to suggestions,
Dan Jacoby


At 7:03 PM, October 15, 2006, Anonymous Steve Z said...

That's a great point, Dan. I'm equally sure that alcoholism (even if it were true) has nothing to do with that kind of behavior. But alcoholism dies fit in nicely in a fundamentalist world view. It is common, forgivable and merely another human foible that is waiting for redemption. Many of these creeps will be back, thoroughly reborn, and thoroughly on the other side of that great revolving door.


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