By Jacob Engels
Capitol Hill and Florida are buzzing today with the news that freshman Congressman Trey Radel, who represents Florida’s 19th district was arrested and charged with misdemeanor cocaine possession in D.C. on October 29th. Radel faces a maximum of 180 days in jail, as well as a possible fine up to $1,000, according to Politico.
I am intrigued by a republican congressman with a penchant for hip hop, cocaine, and by my estimation probably marijuana. If I were in congress, I’d doubt it would stop me from entertaining my vices, whatever those may be….and justifiably so. Can you imagine how stressful it is to be an elected official.
However, I am sure the Republican leadership, SOME voters back home, and Democrats all see this as an opportunity or burden.
For Democrats, it’s an opportunity to draw attention away from the recent and continuous failures surrounding the implementation of Obamacare. Radel, who was a vocal opponent of the legislation from start to finish is not doubt going to receive jabs from Democrats following this news. Here are a few I predict —
“Well, we couldn’t figure out why some people would so vehemently oppose a law created to help people and save their lives. No we know at least one Republican was on drugs.”
“Was Congressman Radel busy snorting lines instead of helping citizens of his district gain access to quality and affordable health insurance?”
I could go on, but you get the point.
For Republicans, it’s an opportunity to force the ouster of a member that has never been in lockstep with house leadership. Tying up a loose end if you will. My paranoid side is willing to bet someone associated with Republican leadership may have been keeping an eye on Radel and other rowdy members looking for an opportunity to force their resignation in hopes of replacing them with better “team player.”
And finally, for residents of the 19th district it’s an opportunity to play the “holier than though” angry electorate and vote a more “pure” and “moral” man or woman into office.
Here are the 3 options for Radel —
1) Resignation. Cut & run and go back to hosting radio shows, consult on K-Street, etc. I’d say this will come as early as 12PM Friday if that is the route he picks.
2) Risk facing a primary next election from a more “pure” & more “ethical” Republican. They will come, with the backing of house leadership, donors, etc.
3) Stay and fight. Personally, this would be my pick if I were him. South Florida is one of the most corrupt places in the country, so I’d say a little bump of the white stuff here and there is pretty green compared to accepting bribe money, money laundering, etc. Plus, a lot of people might just not care. All about how the media frames it and how the public digests it.
I’ll leave you with this, a favorite of mine from Chappelle’s Show. If anyone knows cocaine, it’s Rick James. Give it to me baby. I’ll make it hot like you had enough.
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post. Along with the Post, he owns several other businesses and is currently enrolled at Valencia College. Jacob has lived in Avalon Park since it’s founding and enjoys playing with his black Labradoodle Jasper, listening to indie rock, and seeking out new business ventures. He can be reached at email@example.com