"I was feeling sorry for you and thinking I was doing my Christian duty by making love to you."
That quote comes from the diary of Senator Bob Packwood. He supposedly said it to one of the 27 women who filed sexual harassment suits against him in 1995. Just before he resigned under threat of expulsion from the Senate.
Government. Crime. Scandal. The subjects seem to live together like one big, dysfunctional family. Here's a small list of the crimes of Members of Congress (since 2000 - we couldn't devote the webspace to all of them!). Some of these guys got off lightly, some (justifiably) didn't, but they all believed in one thing: the ignorance of the American public.
Members of Congress who have been charged with crimes since 2000:
Rep. James Traficant (D-Ohio): tax evasion, bribery, racketeering, conspiracy, obstruction of justice (5/4/01)
Rep. William Janklow (R-South Dakota): second-degree manslaughter after his car struck and killed a motorcyclist. (8/29/03)
Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas): felony money laundering, conspiracy in fundraising efforts. (10/3/05)
Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, (R-California): a total of $2.4 million in bribes associated with a corruption scheme (3/03/06)
Rep. Bob Ney (R – Ohio): trading political favors for gifts and campaign donations from lobbyist Jack Abramoff (1/19/07)
Rep. William Jefferson (D-Louisiana): racketeering, soliciting bribes, money laundering (6/04/07)
Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho): arrested in bathroom sex sting at the Minneapolis airport (6/11/07)
Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Arizona): extortion, wire fraud, money laundering attributed to Arizona land swap (2/22/08)
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska): false reporting of services received personally from oil services company (7/29/08)
And let's take a look at some of the political scandals:
Governor (New York) Eliot Spitzer: accused of involvement in a prostitution ring
Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana): active involvement in the business of Deborah Jeane Palfry, aka the D.C. Madam
Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales: the political firing of eight competent U.S. Attorneys
Rep. Mark Foley (R-Florida): reports of “sexually charged” emails to boys working as congressional pages.
Pres. Richard Nixon: (R): involvement with a cover-up concerning a break-in of the Democratic National Committee’s office at the Watergate office complex
Vice Pres. Spiro Agnew (R): bribery and corruption investigation
Additional political/career scandals: Chappaquidick, Iran Contra, Robert Taft, Gary Hart, Marion Barry, Whitewater, Vincent “Buddy” Cianci, Gov. Robert Taft, Clinton-Lewinski.
I ran across this in my research and just couldn't pass up the chance to relay it to readers:
Sen. Bob Packwood: 29 women accused Senator Packwood of sexual harassment.
In his diary, Robert Packwood wrote: “But I said wait a minute. You and I have made love maybe six or seven times. She says, “At the most.” I said, “Well, six or seven times, and you were telling me then that you maybe made love once a year. I was feeling sorry for you and thinking I was doing my Christian duty by making love to you.”
So very many politicians and plain government hacks were involved in headline-grabbing politics, it's a wonder that they were able to escape public scrutiny, but one man laughed at the public and its questions of ethics. Amongst the most scheming, conniving political ne'er-do-wells of his or any other time was non other than Roy Cohn. He was more than a legal henchman for Joe McCarthy, he was, before that, the man who coaxed a death sentence testimony from Ethel Rosenberg's brother David Greenglass. From Alger Hiss to John Gotti, from the Copacabana to Studio 54, Cohn knew everyone and partied everywhere. The Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court disbarred Cohn in August of 1986 - the same month he died of AIDS. Tony Kushner's play, Angels In America focused on Cohn and his double life as a closeted homosexual. It pulled out all the stops and portrayed him as a duplicitous man dying of a disease he said that he did not have. He said he had "liver cancer". At the time of his disbarment, National Review senior editor Jeffrey Hart referred to him as "an ice-cold sleaze".
Now I'm going to throw this out to readers simply because the above characters beg the question: is the Bush Administration worse than these people?
- Refusal to testify to a Congressional Committee
- Undocumented meetings with energy corporations
- Deliberate revelation of the identity of a covert CIA operative
- Approval of methods of torture against the Geneva Conventions
- False allegations concerning the link of Iraq to the events of 9/11
- Commutation of the criminal sentencing of an administrative aide
- False allegations concerning WMDs causing the country to go to war
- Refusal to submit documents requested by Congressional investigations