Dan Burton....either the dumbest man in Congress or ???

Dateline: Thu 06 Mar 2008

Star political columnist Matt Tully, in yesterday's paper, has another good piece about Dr. John McGoff's efforts to unseat U.S. Rep. Dan Burton within the ranks of the Republican party's 5th District.

"Burton's antics give challenger ammuniton," is the headline. Tully praises the intelligence of McGoff, an emergency room doc, and notes that upseating Burton is not going to be easy. Still, sez Tully: "McGoff is running against a candidate who has repeatedly embarrassed his constituents...Actually, his opponent is perhaps the premier embarassment in all of office, and that's saying something. Burton was elected in 1982 and has made a mockery of his office ever since."

Burton, 70 this year, has been in office 24 years. Among his shenanigans, past and present:

He continually misses votes in favor of golf outings. He hatches ideas like giving the the death penalty to drug users, a decree which was followed by his own son's arrest (in 1994) for growing and transporting pot. He blames government for not finding a cure for autism, which again is a family matter: he has an autistic grandson. His campaign has paid $143,900 to his daughter -- a move that has raised questions about his ethics if not his judgment.

As for McGoff, who lives and works in Indy and is a former Marion County coroner, "He can talk about Kosovo, health care and the federal budget with ease and specificity," says Tully. He is also, says Tully, respected by those in both parties.

It's kinda sad that Burton is so bad and far-out that his very existence makes McGoff look good, but it's just so. Burton's recent news-making antics -- regarding baseball and allegations that Roger Clemens used drugs -- is especially pathetic and drew the astonished ire of national sports writers.

A reader pointed to a story by Jason Whitlock of FOX Sports. He covered the trials and tribulations of Roger Clemens during Congressional hearings on his alleged steroid/drug use. On Feb. 15, Whitlock said that Republican congressmen, especially Burton, were practically in thrall of Clemens. They "ignored glaring inconsistencies, inaccuracies and contradictions in Clemens' story..."

Adds Whitlock: "Let me make one thing clear: I am neither Republican nor Democrat, liberal nor conservative. I abhor politics because of its inherent untruthfulness. I have never participated in the political process...."

But he took note of Burton. His questions were so blustering and so naive that Whitlock said, "Dan Burton is either the dumbest man in Congress or the biggest Clemens fan in politics. Well, he could be both."

Actually, he is probably just the dumbest man in Congress.

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