Mark Twain was a smart man. You know he didn’t like Congress very much. “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress,” Twain once said.
Well, the more things change the more they stay the same. A new report by the journalists at Capitol Hill Blue, an Internet site, details a large amount of criminal behavior by our esteemed representatives in Congress. They report that in recent years members of Congress have gone to jail for child molestation, fraud and other charges. Some of the stories belong in Ripley’s “Believe-It-or-Not.” Did you know that Rep. Barney Frank’s roommate ran a prostitution ring out of their Washington townhouse? The report goes on to say 29 members of Congress have been accused of spousal abuse. Twenty-seven have a record for drunk driving. Nineteen members have been accused of writing bad checks. Eight have been arrested for shoplifting, seven for fraud, four for theft, three for assault and one for criminal trespass.
Even after surviving the millenium, it’s enough to make you want to head for the hills. Sure, some go to Washington to cash in on a career riding the gravy train. But there are those who don’t. Those who come to serve for a limited time and then return home. They are far less likely to sink into corrupt activity. So don’t give up. Southern Illinois University political scientist George Harleigh says the answer is simple, “Congressional service should be just that service, not a career.”
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.