Capitol Hill hypocrisy keeps mounting up

Hypocrisy is a bipartisan affliction.

Democrats are hypocrites, as are Republicans. They say one thing and do another.

Meet U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., who now joins the Hypocrites Hall of Shame for taking full advantage of a congressional perk he once sought to abolish.

The perk is “franking,” the practice of using free mail service. Kingston once sought to get rid of it. Now we learn he’s one of Congress’s chief users of the franking privilege.

Kingston has spent more than $124,000 in taxpayer money on mailings since 2009. But when he first ran for the office in 1992, he campaigned on a promise to work to get rid of the privilege. So which is it, congressman? Do you now approve of the privilege or are you using it to champion its demise?

I love these hypocrites, the people who live by a “do-as-I-say” credo. They talk the talk but when it comes to living up to their high-minded words, well, all bets are off.

My favorite hypocrites in recent times are, oh:

* Republican U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich railing against President Clinton’s moral failings while cheating on his own wife by having an affair with a congressional staffer.

* Democratic U.S. Sen. John Edwards proclaiming his abiding love for his wife, Elizabeth, as she battled cancer while he was fathering a child with a campaign staffer.

* Democratic former Vice President Al Gore becoming a champion of energy conservation while running up staggering heating and cooling bills at his palatial homes.

* Republican U.S. Sen. John Ensign touting his family values while consorting with women other than his wife.

Yes, I’m leaving many others out.

Hypocrites have long been a part of what ails Washington and, for that matter, government at all levels since the founding of the Republic. I don’t know how you get rid of hypocrites, other than to vote them out of office.

Rep. Kingston likely is going to come up with some kind of bogus rationale for using the franking privilege that his Georgia constituents will accept. That’s their problem.

I just think this kind of double-speak needs some exposure.

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