Just months ago, Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) made headlines by arrogantly — and falsely — telling constituents at a town hall: “You say you pay for me to do this. Bullcrap. I pay for myself. I paid enough taxes before I got there and continue to through my company to pay my own salary. This is a service. No one here pays me to go.”
Even though nearly everyone there pays taxes toward the $174,000 in annual congressional salary paid to and deposited by Congressman Mullin.
Times change. Back in 2012, a more humble Mullin ran for Congress and won pledging to limit his service to three terms, the term-limit Oklahomans had enacted by voter initiative.
Last year, Markwayne won that third term. Before his primary victory, he informed the Associated Press that he would keep his promise. But the day after winning, the congressman conspicuously left the door open by telling a radio audience he was praying about what to do.
This week, the congressman with two first names released an 11-minute fake news interview. In the video, Congressman Mullin and his wife chatter thoughtfully about his self-serving decision to break his word to stay in power. Even in a staged and scripted interview, “I’ve grown a lot” was the best argument Markwayne could muster.
“The last thing we want is to make people think we’re going back on our word,” a reality-resistant Mullin told the Tulsa World. “At the time, we were sincere. But where we’re at today is a different situation.”
“At the time,” he had no power. Today’s “different situation”? He has power — and aims to keep it. Honesty and honor be damned.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.