Enter Jim Traficant. Those suits (denim)! That hair (which he claimed was cut with a weed whacker). Seven years after being expelled from the House of Representatives and sent to prison for various and sundry forms of corruption and abuse of power, he's back!! Later today, he'll walk out the prison doors a free man, ready to tackle the world once again. I for one hopes he does not go gentle into that good night; he's too much of an entertaining character to deprive the world of his wackiness and incredible quotes.
Forgotten some of what he said over the years? Here's a stroll down memory lane.
"We are not playing monopoly down here. These are taxpayer dollars. Enough is enough. Last I heard it was Uncle Sam, not Uncle Sucker. I yield back the balance of the hard-working jobs that the steel industry is losing." - discussing IMF bailouts with American tax dollars, October 5, 1998
"The last I heard, NATO did not work for the Western Union. It is time for NATO to do their job. It is time for France to step up once in a while. It is time for Europe to help us out, and it is time for independence in Kosovo. One last thing, Mr. Speaker. Milosevic must be stopped. It is about time for France to do their job, too." - commenting on the genocide in Kosovo, October 1, 1998
"Washington does not need more lobbyists and lawyers to advise Congress. I honestly believe that a proctologist is in order down here. I yield back whatever common sense is left." - talking about fast track procedures, September 25, 1998
"Mr. Speaker, I have one question for these wise guys to constipate over: How can some thing come from no thing? And while they digest that, Mr. Speaker, let us tell it like it is. Put these super-cerebral master debaters in some foxhole with bombs bursting all around them, and I guarantee they will not be praying to Frankenstein." - discussing scientists believing in God, August 3, 1998
"Free trade my ascot, Mr. Speaker. This is a free ride and a free for all for China, who is gobbling up our national security secrets faster than the President can down a Big Mac and a box of fries. Think about that." - talking about China, free trade, and security, June 24, 1998
And finally, one of my personal favorites, uttered after he was expelled from the House: "I will take with me a file, chisel and a knife. I'll try to get some major explosives to fight my way out. Then when I get out, I'll grab a sword like Maximus Meridius and as a gladiator, I'll stab people in the crotch."
Speaker Pelosi, the Democrats need Jim Traficant. Congress needs Jim Traficant. The American people need Jim Traficant (even if it is just so that we have something further with which to amuse us). Something tells me when he gets in the car and drives away from prison today, it won't be the last we've heard of the, umm, distinguished gentleman from Ohio.