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DAVIDSON: Why Public Figures Serve & How They Become Compromised

Why, indeed, does anyone choose to serve in government?

Jeff Davidson

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In today’s toxic political environment, why does anyone choose to serve in government? Most people presumably run for office to achieve one or more goals. These could include serving the public good, achieving fame and positive notoriety, and obtaining more personal power.

At the county and local level, some individuals run for elected office with a primary goal of becoming more widely known, as opposed to merely getting elected. Attorneys, accountants, bankers, entrepreneurs, and service providers who’ve run for office have long since discovered that campaigning, in and of itself, is an effective form of public relations and promotion.

Go for the Gold

Some people run for U.S. Congress with a specific cause in mind. Even in those cases, progress towards other goals is still a factor. It’s certainly acceptable both to serve a constituency and to gain some recognition — two goals that contemporary professionals often pursue.

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Politicians with even the best of intentions when they first assume office, alas, can run afoul in many ways. Three traps, among many others, that are most insidious include cronyism, profiting from insider knowledge, and capitulating to the mainstream press. Let’s look at each of these three traps.

Cronyism

Suppose you’re newly elected to Congress. You’re excited. You want to do well. You want to ensure that your constituency is represented to the utmost degree. Many people along the way, undoubtedly, have helped you. And, that is where temptation lies. Certain individuals might ask for favors. Or, you will feel beholding to some people, even if they have not asked for favors.

When the opportunity arises to award a contract or benefit a vendor, the natural propensity of human beings is to favor who they know, who they like, or who those with whom they are familiar. As such, objective criteria might suffer, such as who can do the best job, who has submitted the best proposal, who has a proven track record, and who can we absolutely rely upon time and time again.

In U.S. history, from newly elected state senators to presidents, reliance upon cronies has come back to haunt politicians. This was the case with Presidents Jackson, Grant, Harding, Hoover, Johnson, Clinton, W. Bush, and Obama, among others. Critics will claim that Trump belongs on the list, but not thus far, by historical comparison, while Biden is a prime candidate

Profiting from Insider Knowledge

Politicians are privy to information that the rest of the population is not. They learn about impending trade deals, state or regional economic plans, and international relations. Politicians and public figures must tread carefully: How one and one’s family benefits, as a result of the insider knowledge, invariably becomes public at some point.

Two contemporary politicians, exposed by the same investigative author, have so egregiously flouted the norms of the respective positions, one wonders why they are still held in high esteem. Hillary Clinton, as U.S. Secretary of State, unceasingly traded on her position to bolster the finances of the Clinton Foundation and of her family. This has been exhaustively documented in the book, Clinton Cash, by Peter Schweizer.

Another politician, and four members of his family, has benefitted extensively over several decades from insider knowledge and influence peddling. His name is Joe Biden. Profiles in Corruption, also by Peter Schweizer, documents how the Biden family has profited enormously during Joe’s 47 years in Washington. Whether you’re on the Left or the Right, it is difficult to find fault with Schweizer’s sources and conclusions.

Capitulating to the Mainstream Press

Politicians and public figures lose their way via capitulation to the mainstream press. Our society is over-saturated by media. The mainstream media leans decidedly left, and hounds politicians and government officials who lean right, at least from the day each person assumes office. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), perhaps always a RINO, is chief among GOP politicians who capitulate to the Left-wing press.

John Roberts, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, is another example. Roberts’ conservative views increasingly have been moderated over the years as a result of the relentless pounding he endures from The New York Times, The Washington Post, ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, and numerous other media outlets. Steadfast and determined individuals, committed to their ideals, such as Justice Samuel Alito and Justice Clarence Thomas, do not succumb to the constant pressure of the press.

Can politicians and public figures on the Left be unduly influenced by media outlets on the right? Presumably, but it rarely happens. The Right doesn’t enjoy the massive media clout that the Left has enjoyed for more than 75 years. And the Left, which once subtly enforced a strict code of ideological compliance, is not so subtle anymore.

News

Texas Doctor Defies Abortion Ban, Setting Up New Legal Challenge to Enforcement

This is just a game of courts and time, and this doctor is betting that with enough of the latter, the former will swing to his favor.

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While the Supreme Court is often seen as a finish line for certain legal challenges here in the United States, in some cases, it is truly only the beginning of another, larger fight.

Such seems to be the case in Texas, where a new abortion ban has already been defied by one doctor.

A Texas doctor claimed Saturday that he has deliberately violated the state’s new abortion law in order to help test whether it’s legal.

Alan Braid, an obstetrician-gynecologist in San Antonio, explained his actions in an essay published in The Washington Post.

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Braid writes that he understands “there could be legal consequences” because of his action.

It seems that “legal consequences” were the whole point.

“But I wanted to make sure that Texas didn’t get away with its bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested.”

He added later: “I understand that by providing an abortion beyond the new legal limit, I am taking a personal risk, but it’s something I believe in strongly.”

The news comes just days after the Attorney General, Merrick Garland, stated his unequivocal opinion that the new Texas law was unconstitutional – something that very well may have factored into the decision by Braid.

Braid’s case, should Texas choose to enforce the law against him, certainly has the makings of a situation that could again reach the Supreme Court.  Should there be any changes to the makeup of that judicial body ahead of Braid’s case, there could be a reasonable chance that the Texas law gets overturned.

This is why the GOP is so concerned about the Biden administration’s willingness to consider the possibility of packing the court.

While the Supreme Court is often seen as a finish line for certain legal challenges here in the United States, in some cases, it is truly only the beginning of another, larger fight. Such seems to be the case in Texas, where a new abortion ban has already been defied by one doctor. A Texas doctor claimed Saturday that he has deliberately violated the state’s new abortion law in order to help test whether it’s legal. Alan Braid, an obstetrician-gynecologist in San Antonio, explained his actions in an essay published in The Washington Post. Braid writes that he understands “there could be legal consequences” because of his action. It seems that “legal consequences” were the whole point. “But I wanted to make sure that Texas didn’t get away with its bid to prevent this blatantly unconstitutional law from being tested.” He added later: “I understand that by providing an abortion beyond the new legal limit, I am taking a personal risk, but it’s something I believe in strongly.” The news comes just days after the Attorney General, Merrick Garland, stated his unequivocal opinion that the new Texas law was unconstitutional – something that very well may have factored into the decision by Braid. Braid’s case, should Texas choose to enforce the law against him, certainly has the makings of a situation that could again reach the Supreme Court.  Should there be any changes to the makeup of that judicial body ahead of Braid’s case, there could be a reasonable chance that the Texas law gets overturned. This is why the GOP is so concerned about the Biden administration’s willingness to consider the possibility of packing the court.

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Opinion

Despite Federal Freakout, ‘J6’ Rally Remains Peaceful

The federal response to the event has turned out to be a joke.

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All week, we heard nothing but abject terror from the mainstream media.  They were completely convinced that there was trouble coming down the pike on The Beltway, and they were frothing at the mouth in hoping to blame it on the MAGA Movement.

But, despite their desperate and derivative dialogue, the “Justice for J6” rally went off without a hitch, foiling their naysaying narrative.

Early reports and videos emerging from the pro-Capitol-rioter “Justice for J6” rally indicate that the event has drawn “a few dozen” attendees, and many times that number of press and police.

On Saturday afternoon, videos began trickling out on social media showing the early stages of the event, organized to show support for those imprisoned over the Jan. 6 invasion of the Capitol, showing very high turnout — by cops and the media.

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This, after weeks of fear mongering and facetious insults from the mainstream media.

In fact, the overzealousness of law enforcement wound up being a bit of an embarrassment.

Despite the turnout, the event drew a large law enforcement and media presence. Capitol Police said Friday they were working with over 27 agencies from around the region to secure the event.

This appears to reiterate the idea that the mainstream media’s vilification of Trump supporters has been largely inappropriate, and just another attempt at manufacturing outrage to bolster their ratings.

All week, we heard nothing but abject terror from the mainstream media.  They were completely convinced that there was trouble coming down the pike on The Beltway, and they were frothing at the mouth in hoping to blame it on the MAGA Movement. But, despite their desperate and derivative dialogue, the “Justice for J6” rally went off without a hitch, foiling their naysaying narrative. Early reports and videos emerging from the pro-Capitol-rioter “Justice for J6” rally indicate that the event has drawn “a few dozen” attendees, and many times that number of press and police. On Saturday afternoon, videos began trickling out on social media showing the early stages of the event, organized to show support for those imprisoned over the Jan. 6 invasion of the Capitol, showing very high turnout — by cops and the media. This, after weeks of fear mongering and facetious insults from the mainstream media. In fact, the overzealousness of law enforcement wound up being a bit of an embarrassment. Despite the turnout, the event drew a large law enforcement and media presence. Capitol Police said Friday they were working with over 27 agencies from around the region to secure the event. This appears to reiterate the idea that the mainstream media’s vilification of Trump supporters has been largely inappropriate, and just another attempt at manufacturing outrage to bolster their ratings.

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