A reader writes:
Congressman Radel is correct, though probably inadvertently, when he refers to his cocaine use as a choice. He doesn’t suffer from the disease of alcoholism; he suffers from addiction. Cocaine happened to be his drug of choice on the night in question. Giving him the benefit of the doubt on his credibility, alcohol is his usual drug of choice.
Addiction is the disease. It doesn’t matter what you choose to feed that addiction, be it blow, smack or Budweiser. Until Radel grasps that concept, he’s going to continue to use.
Another points to a depressing reality:
Twenty percent of those serving life without parole for nonviolent drug or property crimes are doing so for a first offense (NYT). Yet Trey Radel will serve not even one day in jail. When he comes back from his “leave of absence,” will he at least have the decency to support drug-crime sentencing reform? Clemency for those serving time for similar offenses? Or is this another instance of IOKIYAR [It’s OK If You’re A Republican]?
I was reading the news about his arrest and this article on sentencing disparities, and I wonder why there hasn’t been a movement to hold Congress and staffers to the standards they set for the U.S. Why not drug test all reps and staffers? I bet we’d find out some interesting things.
Update from a reader:
In a refreshing moment of non-hypocrisy, Rep. Radel is actually a co-sponsor of H.R. 1695, the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, the House counterpart to the Leahy-Paul Senate proposal to allow federal judges to issue sentences below applicable mandatory minimums.
Not sure if anyone’s sent this to you, but here’s a fun little blurb from the WaPo story on the Radel arrest: “In the House, Radel often voted with conservatives: He voted ‘yes,’ for instance, on a broader bill that would allow states to drug-test recipients of food stamps.” I wonder if he would vote for a bill requiring drug-testing recipients of congressional salaries.