Wednesday, September 5, 2012

John Burton is Going Home for a Root Canal, and Hopefully More

Johnl Burton is Going Home for a Root Canal

John Burton is as big a verbal idiot in the Democratic Party as is Congressman Troy Akin for the Republicans. Both parties suffer from buffoons.

We know about congressman Akin's utterly indefensible comments about abortion.

Former Congressman John Burton returned the gaffe Monday. He referred to Congressman Paul Ryan's statements as lies, as have many others Democrats, eventhough the Congressman’s remarks about the Jamesville GM plant closing were technically correct and not a lie. The notoriously foul mouthed Chair of the California Democratic Party and Chair of the California delegation to the DNC did not stop there.

He continued “They lie and they don’t care if people think they lie … Joseph Goebbels – it’s the big lie, you keep repeating it.” He added Congressman Ryan told “a bold-faced lie and he doesn’t care that it was a lie. That was Goebbels, the big lie.” He also referred to the Vice Presidential candidate as a “horse’s ass.”

These remarks were immediately jumped upon by the Republicans. Significantly the mean stream media found them equally repugnant. His home town San Francisco Chronicle through its SFGate website said “Burton’s actual sentences weren’t particularly coherent – no surprise there.” It added “There’s a truism that the first person in an argument who reaches for a Nazi comparison has lost the argument.” As to the Chair’s leaving the convention for dental surgery, SFGate added “We urge him to consider other ways he can fix his mouth during his absence.”

John Burton offered a semi apology and then announced his return to San Francisco for a root canal. He must have missed in his short stint in Charlotte that the city is a sophisticated metropolis with doctors, dentists, and lawyers. He should also have noticed that the headquarters of the great Bank of America, founded in San Francisco over a century ago by Amadeo Peter Giannini, moved from San Francisco to Charlotte in 1998.

Burton said “If Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan or the Republicans are insulted by my describing their campaign tactic as the big lie. I most humbly apologize to them or anyone who might have been offended by that comment.” He added he never used the word “Nazi.”

The insult was not just to Republicans but Americans and Jews in general. The Nazi epithet should never be trivialized.

Of course, maybe it’s not John Burton, but either something in the Charlotte water or a contagion.

Dick Harpootlian, Chair of the South Carolina Democratic State Party was informed that Governor Nikki Haley was participating in daily Republican news conferences in a basement studio at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He quipped this morning “She was down in the bunker a la Eva Braun.”

We were in Charlotte two summers ago, so I know it’s not the water.

Idiocy and verbal diarrhea are not contagious, so it’s the party chairs themselves.

John Burton’s brother, Phil Burton, was the political genius. John succeeded to Phil’s assembly seat when Phil was elected to Congress.  Phil was the epitome of the hard drinking, hard smoking politician. He lost the House Speakership by a few votes to the Texan Jim Wright, who later left office because of an ethics scandal.

Congressman Phil Burton is the father of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, proposed the “closed rule” in the House for bills presented to the full House of Representatives for a vote, and successfully fought for the termination of the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

His great political success in California was starting the demise of the California Republican Party in 1980.The California House delegation was split 22-21 Democratic in 1980. After Congressman Phil Burton redrew the map after the census, it became 27-18 Democratic. The Congressman referred to his convoluted map as “my contribution to modern art.”  The decline of the California Republican Party began with the statehouse and Congressional reapportionment.

John Burton served in Congress from 1997 to 1983 when he stepped aside because of addiction to cocaine and alcohol. He later served in the California Assembly from 1988-1996 and California Senate from 1998-2004, when he was forced out by term limits – a strong argument for term limits. He was elected Chair of the California Democratic Party in 2009. The septuagenarian settled a sexual harassment suit in 2008.

Phil Burton returned to San Francisco for a root canal.  He should retire from politics and spend time with the grandchildren. He’s an embarrassing throwback to the politics of the past.

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