Boehner says Ney is a liar.
Actually, Ney — who has been known to lie, which is one of the reasons he is an ex-con — is telling the truth in this case. Those who know Boehner best say he does tip more than a few from time to time and some of his drunken binges are poorly-kept secrets on Capitol Hill.
Each day, the email to Capitol Hill Blue is filled with stories about Boehner’s after-hours partying exploits.
Boehner is not alone. Congress is — and always have been — a taxpayer-funded watering hole littered with heavy drinkers who all too often make strategic decisions while under the influence.
As a recovering alcoholic with 18 years, nine months and five days sober, I lived and worked in the National Capitol Region during my heaviest days of excessive imbibing — all too often in the company of members of Congress and political appointees in key positions.
I accepted a new job after a night of drinking with one Congressman in the bar of the Capitol Hill Club — the nightspot of choice for many Republicans. I sat one night at Bullfeathers, another Capitol Hill bar, and matched then Congressman John McCain drink for drink while we talked about politics, women and war.
Political guru Lee Atwater, who died too young from a brain tumor, was another drinking buddy,
Does John Boehner drink? Of course he does. Does he sometimes drink too much? Absolutely. Is he alone? Not by a long shot.
After taking the first of 12 steps towards sobriety in 1994, I have avoided late night carnage on Capitol Hill and elsewhere but old contacts in Washington tell me the massive consumption of booze continues and — on far too many occasions — the evening ends with an elected official or political appointee leaving the bar in the arms of someone whose name is not on their current marriage license.
Like drinking, sex is a major part of the routine of those who occupy the halls of power in the nation’s capital. All too often, the messing around is part of lifestyle of those who preach more pious behavior for the rest of us.
From time to time, the past comes back to haunt those who preach chaste behavior while chasing tail in the shadows. Longtime New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici recently admitted fathering a child in an affair with a senator’s young daughter. The late Henry Hyde, an Illinois Congressman with a grandfatherly image, admitted his own secret child from an old affair.
Hypocrisy is as much a part of life in Washington as immoral behavior and drunken brawls.
It has been that way for a long, long time.
And it will mostly likely stay that way far into the future.