James Traficant, as profiled by Matt Labash of the Weekly Standard, who writes, “If I sported a hairpiece, I’d be wearing it at half-mast right about now, upon hearing that the world just grew a little less interesting.” Labash spent the day with Traficant in 2000 to profile him for the Standard. As he writes today:
Though we were only in each other’s company for one day, he gave me everything a profiler could want: sex (he informed me in a crowded Rayburn Building elevator that a lot of women hit on him and he takes them on out of a “responsibility to the American woman”), violence (he slapped me in the face while insisting on calling me “Kibosh” instead of “Labash,” accusing me of coming to do “a castration job”) and intimacies (he spent hours insisting that Janet Reno, whose Justice Department was then bearing down on him, was a lesbian mob puppet).
Read the whole thing. Yes, Traficant was thoroughly corrupt, and more than a little, well, nuts, but unlike the dry, humorless Obama and Eric Holder, and the oafish Joe Biden and John Kerry, Traficant certainly appeared to be having lots of fun with his corruption and insanity. I’m sorry we live in an America dominated by such vile politicians, but to mash-up Hunter S. Thompson and Michael Walsh’s alter-ego David Kahane, the rumpled appearance of James Traficant with his polyester suits and his dead-otter toup must have seemed like a wonderful publicity stunt. In a nation of dessicated humorless “Progressives” led by a criminal organization masquerading as a political party there is no shortage of outlaws, but those few who make the grade as gonzo characters are always welcome: they have that extra “something.”