DRUG AND alcohol addictions are serious matters; we hope Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) succeeds in his recovery. But — given the congressman’s cynical actions in the wake of getting busted for drugs — it’s hard not to wonder whether the steps he is taking are just part of a crass effort to salvage a political career.
Mr. Radel, as it is now widely known, was caught with cocaine by a federal undercover drug operation in the District on Oct. 29. According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, federal agents investigating cocaine trafficking in the Washington region had been told in the fall that the freshman congressman would purchase cocaine for his personal use and sometimes share it with others. So they set a trap. Caught buying drugs from an undercover agent, Mr. Radel entered into negotiations that resulted in him pleading guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor in D.C. Superior Court. Prosecutors said the agreement was consistent with those of many other first-time drug offenders.