File this story in the overstuffed folder labeled Republican Hypocrisy That Borders on Satire. Georgia state Rep. Kip Smith, who is co-sponsor of a bill requiring that public assistance recipients be tested for drug abuse, has been arrested and charged with DUI.
Smith, who has been pushing for mandatory drug testing of Georgia's poorest citizens, was pulled over and arrested while driving his – wait for it – gold four-door Jaguar XJ8.
As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, not only was he well over the legal limit, he was also not particularly forthcoming or cooperative:
“I observed the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Mr. Smith’s breath,” [Officer] Kramer said in his report. “He advised me he was a state representative and gave the name ‘Kip Smith.'”
Smith, whose given name is John Andrew Smith, first told the officer he had not consumed any alcoholic beverages.
“I asked him again, and he stated he had consumed a single beer at Hal’s. I noticed also that Mr. Smith’s eyes were watery, and I asked him to exit the vehicle, which he did,” Kramer said in the report.
Smith told the officer he’d had the beer 45 minutes earlier, and the officer asked him to blow into a hand-held “intoximeter”. The officer said the lawmaker refused, stating he would prefer to go to a clinic or the hospital to get tested.
The officer told Smith that was done only after an arrest, and that Smith had not been placed under arrest, but Smith “seemed to be having a difficult time understanding what I was trying to explain to him,” the officer said in the report.
The officer said Smith finally agreed to blow into the device. The report stated that Smith blew a .091, which is above the legal limit of .08. [He blew a .100 once at city jail.]
The officer said Smith then told him he’d had a beer 15 minutes earlier, instead of the 45 minutes he had said previously. Smith then allegedly failed a “walk-and-turn” test and a “one-leg-stand” test.
This story is another anecdotal example of the hypocrisy rampant among those in the GOP who attempt to codify their prejudices (masked as ethics or proper conservatism).
However, it's more than that. It's another example of the fact that those who we may need to test for drug abuse are not those struggling to survive, but those responsible for creating economic policies that make such struggles persistent.
Those with the power to mold our social and economic policies, those who sit in our country's most-elevated seats of power, those who do well to protect their own interests while abusing or ignoring the interests of 99 percent of us – those are the ones we should test.
On so many levels.
Follow me on Twitter @David_EHG
In response to the Republican-crafted bill requiring that public assistance recipients be tested for drug use in Georgia, a Democratic representative – Scott Holcomb – proposed a bill requiring that all state legislators submit to similar testing.
Thanks to allergywoman for pointing this out in the comments.