December 14, 2005
"Duke" Cunningham was as patriotic and God-fearing as any politician in the land. He had credentials as a former Vietnam fighting ace. He was a good man. Yes sir.
His interest in national defense as an eight-term Republican House member from Southern California came naturally. Rep. Randy Cunningham had seen war. It was ugly. He pushed for defense contracts. He was for the soldiers.
What a hypocrite!
The man who swaggered his way around Congress tearfully resigned his office and confessed to accepting $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors Monday.
He might have gotten away with his treasonous acts if greed had not overtaken reason. Federal prosecutors became suspicious when he sold his Del Mar home to a defense contractor for $1,675,000. Buyer Mitchell Wade held the house for nearly a year and sold it for $975,000.
Prosecutors wanted to know why he would sell the house at a $700,000 loss in a red-hot real estate market.
This Duke bully wrapped himself in red, white and blue while he traded on the backs of men and women who wear the nation's military uniforms.
He may have at one time believed in the Constitution and people's right to dissent, but he gave that up along with his honesty.
One of his patriotic speeches on the House floor was in behalf of the woefully misguided constitutional amendment to ban flag burning. If he really cared about the flag, he would have honored his commitment as a public official in a democratic land rather than attempt to stifle honest dissent.
He is a caricature of a character in the liberal-leaning comic strip Doonesbury who also goes by "Duke."
His patriotism was for sale.
Another gangster Asshole, gangster Bush will have to pardon before he leaves office.