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Scoundrels, Lies and Honor

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—Skewed facts, obfuscation, and down right lies are some of the weapons in a politico’s arsenal. Not all use them but most do and with powerful affect. Half truths, exaggerations are the usual fair but there are some political slandering that crosses a respectable line even for a cockroach or the worst type of politician.

Representative Dan Boman (Democrat from Suligent), crossed that line when he wrote on his campaign FaceBook pages, “Who would you vote for on Novemeber (SIC) 6, 2012 between the following two candidates: 1) A republican who is a homosexual who has a voting record of voting AGAINST ALL homosexual legislation. Further, this particular homosexual congressman has ALL homosexuals working on his congressional staff OR 2) A democrat who is a straight male, but has no voting record for or against homosexual legislation.

While not naming Congressman Robert Aderholt it seems clear that is who he was making reference too.

Boman never had a chance of winning against Aderholt in the first place, now, it seems more likely that this one statement will be the death nail in Boman’s political career.

This is the kind of malicious pandering that makes politics so ugly and disdainful.

Did Boman think that painting the congressman with the taint of being gay, would bring out the vote? Did he really think that claiming Aderholt’s staff were all homosexual might convince Alabamians that “Gay Bob” was leading his very own homosexual cabal in DC?

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Sadly, this is not a case of no harm no foul. What Boman said is out there now and Aderholt and his family will have to deal with the fallout.

Of course this type of attack reflects more on the character of the accuser than the accused. There should be proof to back up their words. Does Boman, have a tape, a letter, any sort of factual information? If so he should bring it forward.

I would like to think that politics is a battle of ideas, played out by gentlemen and noble women, but that is not always the case.

Honor is a rare virtue in today’s society, but it is honor we need to restored to our public life.

The duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr was about honor. It is a fascinating chapter in the early days of our Republic. Burr and Hamilton were gentlemen and honor was a virtue that no public man could sacrifice.

Hamilton and Burr were political rivals but it was Hamilton’s public slander that led to the appointment on the Heights of Weehawken.

I have stood on those cliffs in New Jersey,  it is a place of stark beauty, For me it is almost magical because of the events of July 11, 1804.

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That day are new nation lost two powerful men, Hamilton failed by Burr’s pistol and Burr by his political enemies.

In many ways their duel was the last bloody conflict of American Revolution, because Burr and Hamilton were men of different ideology and aims for our fledgling state.

I doubt Mr. Aderholt will issue a challenge to Boman, where they will stand face to face on some towering palisades, but in a better world maybe he should.

The Code Duello was reserved for gentlemen, men of honor. We need more of noble men and women in public service. Lord knows we have more than enough scoundrel.

Bill Britt
Written By

Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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