Matt Gaetz thinks sex trafficking underage girls is just like “legislative earmarks.” If true, legislative earmarks must be pretty evil, wouldn’t you agree?
So what is a legislative earmark? It’s money directed to a specific recipient for a specific purpose in a legislative bill, without having to go through merit-based competition bidding. The term comes from the old farming practice of marking the ears of livestock, specifically pigs, to distinguish them from pigs belonging to other farmers. Hence it’s what’s known as “pork barrel” legislation.
Pork barrel legislation is used in political deal making. It may be cumbersome and slightly disreputable, but it keeps the wheels of Congress spinning and it gets bills passed that might not pass otherwise. Legislators lukewarm or even hostile to a bill might be persuaded to vote for it anyway if it’s got some “pork” that’s advantageous to his or her district. It is, in short, nothing like the evil, tawdry, disgusting practice of sex trafficking. That’s like equating the two crimes of jaywalking and murder.
Here’s what Gaetz has to say about the whole thing. “I’m being falsely accused of exchanging money for naughty favors. Yet, Congress has reinstituted a process that legalizes the corrupt act of exchanging money for favors, through earmarks, and everybody knows that that’s the corruption.”
There’s a bit to unpack here. First, Gaetz begins by minimizing his crime. He conveniently avoids calling it what it is. He’s accused of sex trafficking. But Gaetz refers to it as “exchanging money for naughty favors,” instead. That’s what guilty people do.
By contrast, innocent people call any crime they are falsely accused of exactly what it is. Their outrage is fueled by the seriousness of the crime. A person wrongfully accused of murder emphasizes the awfulness of the crime. They make it part of their outrage. They say things like, “They’re saying I murdered someone! They’re saying I took the life of another human being!” What they don’t say are things like, “I’m being falsely accused of harming someone!” That’s what guilty people do. Guilty people downplay the crime because, even while they’re trying to deny the crime, they’re simultaneously trying to trivialize it because they secretly know they really are guilty.
But by comparing his crimes to pork barrel politics, Gaetz is also betraying his contempt for his victims. We must always keep clearly in mind that his victims are human beings who have been abused. That abuse may scar them for life and destroy their sense of self-worth— forever. It’s soul murder. That is not a trivial matter. That is not something to glibly dismiss. Clearly Gaetz couldn’t care less about his victims, and he reminds us of this every time he diminishes his crimes against them.
Every time Matt Gaetz opens his mouth he exposes both his guilt and how truly evil he is. He isn’t smart enough to know that every word he utters in print will come back to haunt him later in a court of law. That’s why even a mediocre lawyer will tell a client to never, ever, under any circumstances, talk to the press. Even though Gaetz is a lawyer himself he still talks to the press, and by doing so he exposes his guilt minute by minute. He does this because, on top of all the many other awful things Matt Gaetz is, he is also a moron. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.