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Congressman Emanuel Cleaver

Representing the 5th District of MISSOURI

Revenge Politics

Apr 8, 2016
Civility Message

Dear Friends,

A woman walked up to the supervising pharmacist in a major drug store and said, “You are the top guy here are you not?”

“Yes,” said the man, wearing a long white hospital looking coat.

“Well,” said the woman, “I need a big bottle of arsenic.”

“Ma’am, arsenic is a very dangerous substance so I must ask you – why do you need it?” he said.

“To poison my no-good cheating husband,” she replied.

“Listen, I will not become an accomplice to murder by knowingly selling you arsenic to kill your husband, no matter what he has done,” the pharmacist said.

The woman dug deeply into her handbag and pulled out a photograph of her husband kissing the wife of the pharmacist in their car. The pharmacist starred at the photo with an ever expanding scowl on his face and said, “Ma’am, why didn’t you tell me that you had a prescription for that arsenic and by the way, arsenic is on sale today.”

Yes, revenge is sweet and I have painfully watched it play out politically over and over in the U.S House of Representatives.

The prevailing rationale seems to be, “when they were in the majority, they did it to us so now it’s our turn.”

After almost twelve years in the House, I am now exasperated by the depth to which we in Washington are willing to stoop to exact political and legislative revenge. Great nations will begin their decline by embracing leaders who traffic in revenge politics. Either House caucus that develops revenge strategies should conjure the stamina to dig two graves.

Warmest Regards,


Emanuel Cleaver, II
Member of Congress