Oops: Republican freshman Congressman picked up for cocaine possession

Meh, spare me the hand-wringing from Democrats on this one. The big difference between him and the President and leader of the Democratic Party is this guy got caught. It’s hard for me to get too exercised about drug use and lying about drug use in politicians. I came of political age during the Clinton years, the first president I voted for was Bush, and now we have a president who wrote openly about all the drugs he did but insists on using the federal government to bust medical marijuana dispensaries in states where the drug is legal. It’s not that I think the behavior is acceptable; it’s that the bar has been set so incredibly low, I’m unsurprised.


It’s a misdemeanor charge, which seems like less than I’d imagine for cocaine:

Rep. Trey Radel, a Florida Republican elected in 2012, will be in court Wednesday on charges that he possessed cocaine.

Radel, 37, was charged with misdemeanor possession of cocaine in D.C. Superior Court on Tuesday.

He faces a maximum of 180 days in jail, as well as a fine of up to $1,000. Several sources with direct knowledge say it was the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration who were involved in the charges.

I’m interested to see how liberals react to this story. They’re ostensibly anti-drug war and oh-so-nonchalant about drug use, but how to resist knocking a Republican? The go-to is usually to cry hypocrisy, but Radel is a co-sponsor of a bill to give judges discretion on mandatory minimums.

Even Think Progress was reduced to this surprisingly neutral headline: What The Congressman Just Arrested For Cocaine Possession Had To Say About Drug Policy

I’m not exonerating the guy. He’ll go through the system and his constituents will have the last word. There’s likely someone in the district who could win the seat and not have a cocaine possession charge.

For his part, Radel is kinda blaming the booze and saying he’ll seek treatment.

“I’m profoundly sorry to let down my family, particularly my wife and son, and the people of Southwest Florida. I struggle with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice. As the father of a young son and a husband to a loving wife, I need to get help so I can be a better man for both of them.”

“In facing this charge, I realize the disappointment my family, friends and constituents must feel. Believe me, I am disappointed in myself, and I stand ready to face the consequences of my actions.”

“However, this unfortunate event does have a positive side. It offers me an opportunity to seek treatment and counseling. I know I have a problem and will do whatever is necessary to overcome it, hopefully setting an example for others struggling with this disease.”

“Please keep my family in your prayers.”


I wish him the best in his personal battle while stipulating sympathy for his condition doesn’t entitle him to a Congressional seat. Isn’t he the second politician in a month to blame alcohol for making him do a form of cocaine?

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