Ted Lieu says championing illegals is the route to free food

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) is one of those Democratic Party House "leaders" whose off-the-wall statements ought to be as well known as those of Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Sean Patrick Maloney, and Luís Gutiérrez.  (I know, I'm missing quite a few.)

In response to a shocking story that ought to have embarrassed him as a Democrat, regarding the systemic harassment of President Trump's advisers and Cabinet officials, he went out and said his own opposition to President Trump's policy stances on illegal immigration is a good thing for him because he got a lot of free food.


Here's what the Washington Examiner reported:

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., bragged Monday that he's been given special treatment at local restaurants for his political stance against President Trump's hard-line immigration policies.

"My experience at restaurants: I ordered take out at a Greek restaurant. When I arrived, the owner saw me & threw in a free baklava (one of my favorite desserts). He said he appreciated what I was doing. I guess that's what happens when one opposes ripping kids away from parents," Lieu tweeted.

A far-left site called Raw Story had more of the backstory, approvingly describing Lieu's statements yet unintentionally revealing why the story was so creepy.  Raw Story reported:

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) trolled White House advisor Stephen Miller for being cursed at after picking up $80 of takeout sushi.

Miller threw the sushi he'd paid for in the trash after the restaurant's bartender followed him into the street, shouting after him.

When Miller turned around to see who'd said his name, the bartender raised both of his middle fingers and cursed at him, according to what Miller told colleagues.

Creepy, yes, because wouldn't it be normal to throw away food and get as far away as possible from an establishment that took your money, prepared your food, and then...came yelling and waving the middle finger at you?

It actually sounds like a case for the Health Department.  I wouldn't trust for a minute food prepared by someone that consumed with raging, boiling, lunatic-raving hate, and I am glad Miller didn't, either.

For Lieu, this wasn't troubling in the least.  It was at this point that he jumped in and said his support for illegals means that restaurants simply showered him with free food.

Here's the problem for Ted: if any of us came into such an establishment and said we supported illegals, do you think such restaurants would shower us with free food, too?

Don't think so.

Lieu, as it happens, is admitting to taking emoluments for his political stances.  And don't think that in Congress, with its extensive rules, it doesn't extend to meals.

A few years ago, I had a friendly meal with another Ted, Ted Cruz, to be precise, as a member of the Investor's Business Daily editorial board.  We didn't exactly have lunch – just a few snacky things with coffee in an airport-area coffee shop, and it wasn't fancy or expensive.  We offered to pay for the whole thing since it was so piddling.  Well, guess what: Cruz and his aides were having none of it.  The one aide insisted on paying exactly the amount that Ted ate from the meal, or else paid for the whole thing.  I don't recall every detail except that they were tough and exacting on maintaining ethics requirements.  Even as friendlies, we were not going be on any record as ever giving him anything.  You can bet nobody else would be, either.  The same deal went for all the other congressmembers we hosted for events.  The House and Senate members we met with always insisted on paying at least for their own portion, because they'd never, ever, ever take a penny from anyone.

For them, it was serious business, even as it seemed so minor to us, because they were determined never to break congressional ethics rules.

Now we roll back to Ted Lieu, and he's out admitting he's taking free stuff.  Sound like a problem?

One can only hope some additional scrutiny is warranted, given the blithe openness with which Lieu admits to taking free stuff.  Does that sound like a guy who's slid down a slippery slope via a few compromises and corner-cuttings?  Does that sound like a guy who can be bought?  Maybe those questions ought to be asked back in the House.

Image credit: Neon Tommy via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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