Texas seems to not only be the stronghold of the Tea Party, but the state also seems to corner the market on bizarre politicians with weird points of view.
One of their Representatives, a Blake Farenthold, made a rather odd statement at the beginning of the 16 days of the government shutdown during which he continued to get paid and his benefits were covered.
He advised veterans who would lose pay during that time, and may have continued to if the shut down had continued, that they need to realize they HAVE TO MAKE SACRIFICES.
As he put it, “I feel like my mandate when I was elected was to go reduce the size of government, lower taxes, and increase freedom, and freedom isn’t free, and sometimes you have to make a small sacrifice to move forward with what you’re after”.
Lord knows they hadn’t made any sacrifices up to that point.
He originally ran on the Tea Party claim that Washington needed some fixin’.
When he was asked about getting his own paycheck he told Al Sharpton on his cable show,“Ted, put your money where your mouth is. I would consider it to be immoral to take a paycheck when the people in the federal government were not. Absolutely”.
He was attacking fellow Texan, Ted Cruz, for getting paid during the shutdown. He had no way of knowing that within an hour of that broadcast, Mr. Cruz was to announce he would donate his paycheck to charity.
In contrast, Representative Farenthold did not give up his paycheck.
Some disabled veterans in Texas, who were appealing unfavorable rulings on their applications for aid, found that with the federal government closed, their appeals were put on hold which meant they would not be getting paychecks.
But he would get his.
After the flap over his stupid statement, the representative has started doing a lot of things to either atone for his remarks by promoting pro-veteran bills and videos, or simply trying to cover his error.
There might be some reading this who will ask why this is even relevant.
Just mention that veterans are losing the food stamps that they rely on to feed their families, or are not getting the help they need to battle PTSD or avoid homelessness; try to even bring up the horrendous number of suicides within the ranks, and you will be surprised how many people will start talking about non-existent jobs bills, the horrors of cutting unnecessary wasteful spending in the defense budget, and why we need to spend billions of dollars to help foreign countries who turn around and hate us when the money is spent, when spending that money on our domestic deteriorating infrastructure would supply jobs for returning veterans.
But, if yesterday is any indication, they will say nothing about helping the veterans to get the support they need, or the programs to get them jobs and avoid homelessness. They will, however, attempt any manner of logistical gymnastics and name calling to defend the politicians, and excuse the inaction when it comes to veterans.