Back when I was a psychologist, there were lots of neat tax-deductible places we could go for "educational purposes." Like Caribbean cruises. Throw in a couple of lectures and you're good to go. Of course, we did have to pay for the trip ourselves. And in the interest of full disclosure, I never could afford a Caribbean cruise.
Not so with the U.S. House of Representatives. As much as they squeal when President Obama travels as President of the United States, they were all too happy to accept a trip to Israel, expenses paid for by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Why a group of 37 Democrats followed by a group of 26 Republicans needed to take a trip to Israel, rather than have a couple of representatives go is beyond me. Also, why they needed to go in separate groups, as though if they went together a few ideas might get exchanged, much like middle school boys and girls who are afraid of getting cooties from each other.
And of course they all brought wives, because who would want to go on an educational junket without a spouse. And of course our own Mark Sanford wouldn't want to feel left out and lonely, so he got special dispensation to bring along his girlfriend, excuse me, fiancee. I'm absolutely sure since they are not married they had separate rooms....
As the House Republicans fight over taking pennies for the poor out of the budget, and making sure that no one who can't afford it gets heath care, it strikes me as the height of hypocrisy to have the nerve to take massive group vacations on someone -- anyone -- else's dime. Not to mention the fact that if Israel pays, no one is going to come back complaining about money we spend on Israel. Can you say "conflict of interest?" And I thought taking gifts from lobbyists was illegal.
Don't let Mark Sanford, or anyone else who is voting against the poor while getting paid vacations and lobbying junkets, get away with it. Our Representatives are living high off their corruption, and we need to keep letting them know we know about it. They have no conscience, so we will have to take that role for ourselves.
Tweet @MarkSanford, go to his Facebook Page, call and email him to let him know what you think of his hypocrisy.