Recently by Gary North: Big Problems and Big Government: Siamese Twins for Special-Interest Groups
This evening, Ron Paul will no longer be a member of Congress.
It has happened before. At the end of this day in January 1977 he was no longer a member of Congress. He had lost by 268 votes out of over 180,000. At the end of this day in 1985, he was no longer a member of Congress. He had resigned to run for the Senate. He did not get the nomination.
Twice he came back. There will not be a third time. He has other fish to catch.
I was on his staff in 1976. I saw Congress close-up. Once was enough. I explained why in 1977: “Confessions of a Washington Reject.”
Ron Paul never fit in on Capitol Hill. There are reasons for this. Four reasons.
THE BIG FOUR
The ruling triumvirate on Capitol Hill are the same as in every other political capital in history: money, sex, and power. But there is one more: booze.
The problem is, these four are almost universal in their appeal. In what way is Congress different?
Because power is the biggie. If you get power, you can get the others.
The phrase “money, sex, and power” reflects a commercial sequence, not political. It is more Wall Street than Capitol Hill.
I searched Google for “money, sex, and power” as a unit. How many hits do you think I got? Guess. Go on: guess. To find out, click here.
Amazing, no? The phrase is universal, because the lusts are universal. They are a package deal on Capitol Hill more than anywhere on earth.
I searched for “power, sex, and money.” That’s Capitol Hill. The hits were 88% smaller.
But here’s the deal: booze is #4 on both Wall Street and Capitol Hill.
In 1989, former Senator John Tower was nominated by President Bush as Secretary of Defense. Paul Weyrich of the conservative Free Congress Foundation vocally opposed this. Why? Because Tower was a heavy drinker and a serial adulterer. Everyone in town knew it. No one was supposed to say it in public. Weyrich became hated for this stand. But the Senate eventually refused to confirm his nomination, 53 to 47, on close to a straight party vote. It was the first time in U.S. history that an incoming new President had seen his initial nomination rejected. In his autobiography published a year later, Tower quoted Senator Barry Goldwater:”If they had chased every man or woman out of this town who had shacked up with somebody else or gotten drunk, there’d be no government.” He was telling the truth.
Then why booze? If you have money, sex, and power, why do you want booze? If you have scored big on the Big Three, why do you crave the fourth?
Here we get to the heart of the political matter. Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. A lot of women are attracted to it.
I grew up among the most beautiful women on earth: the Southern California beach scene. I lived two blocks from the sand. The best-looking women in the region got on bathing suits and headed for the beaches on the weekends. Unattractive women tended not to do this. The curves on the beach are not bell-shaped. It was not until I worked on Capitol Hill that I saw that many good looking women in one place. They weren’t there for the sunshine.
Congressmen have made it to the top in the realm of power. It does not satisfy. They can hire good looking women. They can meet good looking women. They cannot help but meet good looking women. The Seduction of Joe Tynan is a movie on this this. Maybe they are not rich, but they can get rich at any time by quitting and becoming lobbyists. They live as though they are rich. They have entourages of young people following them.
And they drink.
Something is missing in their lives that money, sex, and power cannot fill. Yet if the Big Three don’t work, they wind up singing along with Peggy Lee to “Is That All There Is?” Musically, it’s not much of a song. The message is unforgettable.
Those of us who are content to live outside the Washington Beltway find it difficult to connect with those on Capitol Hill. The longer they stay there, the more difficult it is. And I think it works both ways. They do not want to leave.
January 4, 2013
Gary North [send him mail] is the author of Mises on Money. Visit http://www.garynorth.com. He is also the author of a free 31-volume series, An Economic Commentary on the Bible.
Copyright © 2013 Gary North