Character matters: Matt Gaetz is why 'We agree on some things' is a horrible excuse to befriend and work with scoundrels

Best friends: Rep. Matt Gaetz (Trump) and Rep. Ro Khanna (Bernie)

When I recently confronted Rep. Ro Khanna, a California 'progressive' who appears to frequent Fox News with some of their most coveted right wingers, about his budding friendship with one of the worst human beings to ever step foot in Congress, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Khanna retorted that he was proud of their friendship because they agree on isolationism and American anti-interventionism. Basically, they were both for Donald Trump's foreign policy posture and against Barack Obama's.

(NOTE: Khanna, in a message to Reclaim the Fight, objected to this characterization and noted his support for President Obama's policies with respect to ISIS, the Iran deal,  Cuba policy, and the Paris Accord - all things I would note happened before Khanna joined Congress.)

That was all just 4 days before the bombshell report in the New York Times that Gaetz is being investigated by the FBI for sex trafficking of a minor. In response, Gaetz claims that he liked to spend money on his lovers and that he and his family are being extorted by a former DOJ official, which is somehow Joe Biden's fault. Gaetz appeared on Turcker Carlson's Fox News show last night in what even the ridiculous Tucker Carlson called it "one of the weirdest interviews" he's ever conducted.

It's not as though Gaetz has been revealed as a horrible person in just the last 24 hours. He was the House's Josh Hawley, if you will, the legislator most identified with Donald Trump and the pro-Trump terrorists that invaded the US Capitol on January 6. For months, Gaetz actively fueled Trump's big lie about the election being stolen. In 2019, Gaetz staged a little insurrection of his own, when he led a group of Republican lawmakers to storm security and break into a secure room where lawmakers on the intelligence committee were holding a secure hearing during the inquiry into Trump's first impeachment. You know, the one where he got himself impeached trying to extort the President of Ukraine in an attempt to manufacture dirt on Joe Biden.

The backstory into how Gaetz got into trouble with the FBI is even more interesting. The FBI evidently connected Gaetz to trafficking during their investigation into a political ally and friend of his, Joel Greenberg. Greenberg, who has now been indicted for charges of sex trafficking, and Gaetz both introduced their own budding friendship to a social media photo of the two of them with the disgraced Nixon-Trump criminal syndicate operative Roger Stone.

In the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, and Sikh traditions, there exists a concept of something known as 'satsang,' which, although often refers to a religious or pious gathering, is also the broader philosophy that one ought to associate with people who have a moral core and avoid being friends with those who are simply bad people. It resembles the western philosophy of 'by the company you keep,' but - and maybe this is my bias speaking - it has deeper lessons human fallibility.

Donald Trump. Roger Stone. A 30-something indicted for sex trafficking. This is the company Matt Gaetz keeps and does the bidding for. That doesn't simply mean Gaetz supports Trump's policies. It means he pals around with and defends the worst moral and legal failings of people around Trump. It means he runs interference against his own colleagues in his own branch of government in order to benefit his cult leader. It means he - Gaetz - becomes a central figure in the attempt to steal an election from its rightful winner, President Joseph R. Biden.

Ro Khanna has known all that. None of this just sprung up or has been a secret.

Matt Gaetz is a bad person. He's not someone who is an honorable human being with a conservative (or even right wing) political philosophy. And that should disqualify him from the friendship of anyone with a moral core, regardless of where their political positions fall on the spectrum (or as I like to say, the horseshoe).

So far, Ro Khanna has decided to send the wrong message by buddying up and working with one of the truly most despicable people in Congress. And as of this writing, he still hasn't publicly condemned his buddy. If his attitude toward his 'friend' now changes (and there is no indication that it has), it will be hard to avoid charges that he is doing so for nothing more than public relations purposes, seeing as how none of Gaetz's abhorrent actions - nor his detestable character - prior had posed a problem with Ro Khanna and the progressive circle he is influential in.

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