Nothing irritates me more than when the left-wing drive by media jumps on our elected officials as they try to do what they think is best for our country.
It really hit close to home earlier this week when they focused their sights on my good friend, Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy.
It all started when Sean opened his heart at a town hall meeting in Polk County. Knowing many of his constituents were suffering due to the county's current economic situation, Sean let them know that he, too, was reeling:
I can guarantee you, or most of you; I guarantee that I have more debt than all of you. With 6 kids, I still pay off my student loans. I still pay my mortgage. I drive a used minivan. If you think I'm living high on the hog, I've got one paycheck. So I struggle to meet my bills right now. Would it be easier for me if I get more paychecks? Maybe, but at this point I'm not living high on the hog.
After he made that statement, the media vultures swooped in for the kill. How could he dare to compare his troubles to the average worker when he was making a Congressional salary?
How little they know.
Sympathizing with my friend's plight, I dropped in to see him earlier this week. Since he was diligently finishing paperwork in another room, the butler Jarvis told me to have a seat.
"The congressman will be with you in a moment, sir. Would you care for champagne?"
"Domestic, sir. The Congressman is trimming costs wherever he can."
That made sense.
After about five minutes, the Congressman entered and it was obvious he had been beaten down by the vicious media attack. After we exchanged a few pleasantries, Sean shook his head and said, "I should have seen this coming."
"Whenever someone as noble as you gets into office," I said, "they immediately start trying to tear you down."
After we talked for a while and strategized about how to handle the media onslaught, Sean took me on a tour of his estate, first showing me a building behind the main house. "If you want to know how hard times are, take a look at that," he said. "I couldn't even afford to put a fresh coat of paint on the servants' quarters."
"I know what you mean. When times are tough, there's not a single classroom teacher in Missouri who is able to keep up with repairs on the servants' quarters."
We took a shortcut through the garage where Sean showed me his minivan. "Nice wax job, Brian," he said to the man standing in front of the vehicle.
"Thank you, sir."
As we walked on, I asked, "Is he new around here?"
Sean nodded. "I had to let Bill go. He had been with me for a long time, but I couldn't afford to pay that much for a chauffeur."
"But with your kids. Can you take a chance with someone with so little experience?"
"Oh, it's no problem. You don't have to have experience to be good. Brian went through a two-week course with Drive for America."
After dinner, I said my goodbyes, but before I could leave I thought I should make one more suggestion. "Sean, you have to stop having town hall meetings. Your enemies are ready to jump on anything you say."
My friend vigorously shook his head. "That will never happen, Randy. Town hall meetings are an important part of what made this country great. I am not one of those people who are elected to office and forget the little people who put me there. I'm one of them. Polo next week?"
"I'll be there."