Indiana Representative Dan Burton has been in trouble recently for missing 19 votes due to a scheduling conflict with a golf tournament. So when it was discovered that as the second ranking Republican member of Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs he was absent for the recent hearings on the problems at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, it was understandable that the local media wanted to know why he wasn’t able to make it. His response sure didn’t disappoint.
At first, he starts off reasonable, in my opinion. See, when the scheduled the hearings he had already made commitments with meetings with his constituents locally in Indiana. He tried to get them to move the hearings back into the afternoon but when it became apparent that a schedule change wasn’t going to happen he instructed his staff to make sure he had a written transcript of the proceedings.
“I did my duty in my district with meetings that I already had scheduled because I couldn’t catch a plane to be out here for that thing at 10 o’clock,” Burton said. “But I was informed about everything that went on, as I requested.”
At this point, I think everyone can understand the situation, the meetings were thrown together pretty quickly. And while some might wonder about his priorities and think that perhaps he could have rescheduled his local meetings to make it back to Washington, it is understandable and he seems to have acted responsibly to make sure he had a copy of the proceedings that he could catch himself up on.
However, apparently that wasn’t good enough for Dan. Dan seemed a bit affronted by the questioning and continued on.
“Even if I didn’t have any appointments, I would’ve had to come back Sunday night or catch a plane at 7 in the morning or 6 in the morning,” Burton said, adding that the congressional schedule makes it difficult for him to spend time with his wife, whom he married in the fall. “I’ve got this new lady I want to have some life with, and I can’t even see her.”
Wow. The first thing I thought when I heard this comment was ‘Arrogance’ followed by ‘Narcissist’. Apparently he’s not very concerned about those patients being mistreated in the medical center and other hospitals throughout the country or how much time they are spending with their wives. Perhaps the feelings of his constituents who have to get up at 5 or 6 in the morning to get to work so that they can make a living and pay the taxes to keep him employed didn’t cross his mind while he was answering the question.
What is worse is that his opponent for the primary fight he is going to encounter next year is former Marion County Coroner John McGoff. Dr. John McGoff is an emergency room doctor who has been elected Marion County Coroner twice. He is also General John McGoff, flight surgeon for the Indiana Air National Guard. He has spent time recently in Germany, Iraq and Afghanistan, treating these very soldiers that apparently Mr. Burton is too busy having a life to be concerned about.
It’s apparent to me from the recent number of missed votes and his comment about his ‘new life’ he’s trying to have that he just isn’t that interested anymore in being a Senator for the state of Indiana. And it is also probable that the voters will help him with his dilemma by taking away his position as their representative next year.