Tuesday, December 06, 2005

To Randy "Duke" Cunningham: Goodbye and Good Riddance

California far-right Republican Randy Cunningham is leaving Congress and in all probability heading to prison. Tom Oliphant has the story of this common thief here. Cunningham is a disgusting radical rightwinger who loves smearing other people's patriotism. He thought that a distinguished war record in Vietnam entitled him to do anything he wanted and to personally attack anyone he chose. A key passage:

Cunningham was one of the conservative movement's favorite wind-up toys, guaranteed to hold forth whenever it seemed useful to question another public official's patriotism, to disparage minorities be they racial or gay, or to claim the tough guy, masculine upper hand even by challenging colleagues to the fistfights he always seemed to walk away from.

His Republican colleagues rewarded the northern San Diego County congressman with the seat on the Appropriations Committee he used as the platform for his graft. He was, after all, a fighter pilot Vietnam vet, a highly decorated ace at that, and got away for years with making his war record seem synonymous with expertise on military matters and using it as an excuse for his bizarre behavior.

On a trip back to Vietnam a few years ago, he called his hosts ''gooks," he tried to make fun of Representative Barney Frank, and, in a famous moment in the mid-1990s, ran away from a physical challenge by Democratic Representative Jim Moran of Virginia, who chased him off the House floor and into the cloakroom, where Moran found him weeping.

He has disgraced his office, disgraced the House, and betrayed the trust of his constituents. Lock him up and throw away the key.

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