Two peas in a pod: Bill Clinton and Dan Rostenkowski. You might not think so at first, but they are.
Their appearance is different Clinton the smooth-talking Rhodes scholar and Rostenkowski the Chicago-tough, deal-cutting politician. But they are both career politicians whose loyalty, in the end, goes not to the country or the people, but to their gang of career politicians. We’ve heard enough blather about Bill Clinton’s narcissistic search for a legacy. Well, for my money he cinched it when he gave a presidential pardon to Dan Rostenkowski. What a powerful statement to the nation that political crime pays! Clinton in addition to his own notorious shortcomings will forever be Rostenkowski’s partner in crime.
Rostenkowski ripped off the public from his lofty 36-year perch on Capitol Hill. He pled guilty to two felony counts of mail fraud to escape from 15 other felony indictments. The judge who sentenced Rosty to prison said, “The guilty pleas don’t reflect the breadth of your crimes.” Don’t get me wrong. Forgiveness is a wonderful thing. Had Dan Rostenkowski shown remorse for his widespread criminal enterprises in Congress, a pardon might have been warranted. But Rosty never apologized. He said, “I don’t think I’m isolated as the only one who did it. I’m not completely convinced that what I did was wrong. Dispensing gifts to some friends and hiring the children of others was my way of life.” Some way of life!
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.