Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 95 E300
Location: Inside my head
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 392 Post(s)
Every PAC that has the money offers "educational seminars" to the Congress. Sometimes they are at golf resorts in Scotland, or a trip to a resort community in some foreign land. It is amazing what those mofos in Congress get away with, off the books.
When I was a kid my Father was XO of a naval mission to a South American country. His job was to teach the local navy how to run a destroyer as my Dad had just returned from duty as a destroyer captain in the Pacific. A second job he had was essentially public relations. In that capacity he received orders to meet a member of the US House and show him around during a 2-day visit in the region.
So my Dad shows up at the hotel to pick-up the congressman. The rep was a half-hour late and my Dad, having seen lots of drunken sailors in his day, knew the guy was hung-over from the night before. Dad asks about rep's wife (Dad told there would be two). Rep said she didn't accompany him. The rep was in an offical gov capacity representing the Congress of the USA. People who would meet him would think he was typical of the US House (maybe he was?). So here's this hung-over lout dressed as a tourist, including a camera around his neck.
My Dad had spent the previous 1.5 years cultivating relationships with the local military and diplomatic staffs representing a number of countries. Same with various international corporations and local businessmen. Mom & Dad were deep in the local social scene and we frequently hosted parties for these folks (we kids were always introduced at these affairs and then sent to a far corner of the house and told to keep out of the way). My family lived in a neighborhood of locals and my brothers and sisters and I all went to local schools and were taught in Spanish. We came to love the country and my Mother flies that country's flag next to our own on their independence day.
So my Dad has to take this rep around and introduce him to the city and especially show deference to him for 2 reasons. #1 in our country the military always publicly acknowledges that Congress is higher on the food chain that a military officer. The second reason was that the US gov tries to demonstrate to these countries that the military works for the civilian government. My dad had a 2-day living nightmare with that guy.
My Dad said his worst humiliation was when my Dad told the driver to drive through a desperately poor section of the city. Dad in his dress whites, rep in shorts and an hawaiian shirt and sandals. The rep noticed a lot of children dressed raggedly were following the car as it slowly wound it's way through the streets. Rep asked what they were doing. Dad said they were begging for money. Rep asks the driver to stop. Rep gets out of the car as the kids approach and throws a couple of centavos to them, which they scramble for. Rep takes pix and throws some more, rep takes pix. Dad and Dad's driver look around and notice the adults staring at them with unconcealed hostility. Rep keeps it up. They drive off without any more tours since Rep has a golf game to play.