Lyin’ Cheatin’ Bastards – Sex, Money, Power: The Dark Side of Politics

Ronald Reagan once said politics is considered the world’s the second-oldest profession—though it sometimes bears a striking resemblance to its less-reputable predecessor.

In Lyin’ Cheatin’ Bastards, Claire Young, Jennifer A. Freeman, Vicki Zwart, and Allison Adler examine the full scope of that relationship—and a whole lot more—in a 288-page, hilarious-if-it-weren’t-so-sad compendium (okay, it’s pretty funny) that points out 77 of America’s most corrupt politicians.

In other words, elected officials who’ve been impeached, jailed, recalled, censured, or otherwise disgraced.

Or who’ve simply demonstrated “an exceptional level of hypocrisy or dishonesty.”

And for this, as the authors’ dedication to America states: “We’re sorry.”

It features the stupid and dishonest from both sides of the political aisle. It discusses small-town mayors. And big-time congresspeople. It details affairs. “Sexting” scandals. Tax cheats. Extortion. Money laundering. And as the back cover of this fully-illustrated compilation states, Lyin’ Cheatin’ Bastards “proves neither intelligence nor integrity is required to get elected in America—but probably should be.”

Two former congressmen included among the book’s top-10 lyin’ cheatin’ bastards are Randall “Duke” Cunningham (R-Calif.), pictured below on the left, and William Jefferson (D-La.) on the right:

Cunningham took more than $2 million in bribes and is serving more than eight years in prison; Jefferson was sentenced to 13 years in prison for corruption.

And there’s 75 more to go!

The authors describe their motivations:

From Anthony Weiner’s wiener to Larry Craig’s infamous bathroom toe-tap, we’ve come to expect nothing but stupidity and dishonesty from our elected officials. But it’s getting hard to keep track of who’s done what—so we have created this handy compendium.

In only a matter of minutes we found more recent scandals than we knew what to do with so we had to whittle them down to the worst of the worst: 77 Lyin’ Cheatin’ Bastards.

No political office is sacred, no party immune, and no sin that’s been punished goes unrecognized…the mind-boggling antics of our public officials are chronicled here for all eternity.

If only a handful of our politicians failed to meet our expectations, we could call it a fluke. A bad streak, perhaps. But today so many of them are being arrested for criminal activity or confessing to yet another inappropriate relationship that it may be time to ask if there’s a deeper problem.

Do the right people run for office? Have we set the bar too low? Is there anything we can do about it but laugh?

Described as a timely “encyclopedia of idiocy,” Lyin’ Cheatin’ Bastards boasts a unique scoring system for ranking politicians, with offenses ranging from ethics violations to prison sentences. There are also a number of unique sub-categories such as “Gay Anti-Gay Legislators (GAGL)” and “The 7 Most Audacious.” Scandals are further broken down by state and political affiliation.

Where do you suppose “tickle monster” Eric Massa or Anthony Weiner and his indiscreet text messages rank?

“We normally only hear about these scandals one at a time and that prevents us from really grasping just how many crooked and stupid politicians there are out there,” Angus Carroll, the book’s editor, remarked. “Now, with Lyin’ Cheatin’ Bastards, the true horror of it all is made perfectly clear.”