Could it be that we will finally get the nitty-gritty on U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr.? Naturally it is always difficult to gauge which way the House Ethics Committee will go when it comes to investigating "one of its own." Let's face it, the Congress doesn't exactly have a very good reputation these days. And rightfully so! After all, this is the same government body that enriches itself with insider information while regular folks have that sort of thing frowned upon by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
So here is the deal. If the House Ethics Committee has done their due diligence surrounding Jesse Jackson Jr. and his "Indian Connection," then there should be a political price to be paid today. Then again, Jesse Jackson Jr. has been suspiciously quiet for quite some time now unlike, say Charlie Rangel. If you recall, Good Ol' Charlie just couldn't keep from making a mockery of the Ethics Committee and/or its proceedings, but I am sure that had a lot to do with the sanctions leveled against him.
Jesse Jackson Jr., though, is well-bred when it comes to playing the game of political flim-flam. And I suppose that has an awful lot to do with his political DNA. I mean this is a family who has been able deflect controversy better than most and still succeed in their political endeavors. And I have to tell you something too, if Sinclair Lewis' Elmer Gantry weren't a fictional character - he'd be "dang proud" as to what the Jackson's have been able to pull off over the years.
Still, these allegations surrounding the buying of President Barack Obama's old Senate Seat are so egregious that the people have a right to know what exactly transpired and who, if anyone, is telling the truth. Of course former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's brother, Robert, said he was more than willing to testify in front of the House Ethics Committee. And let's not forget that the testimony given by Jackson's own Indian supporters would seem to paint a convincing picture that the allegations are not only true, but that they were willing to bankroll him. Now, if that is the truth, then Jackson should not be given any free passes by the Ethics Committee. Besides - the people of Illinois have every right to know what went down with the Obama Senate Seat, especially after being made a national laughing stock on Late Night TV.
Thankfully, former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich will be getting his just rewards shortly. However, I still believe that there is a hell of a long line of co-conspirators who should be spending some considerable time in the slammer along side Blago. Unfortunately Federal Prosecutors failed miserably when it comes to "sending a clear and loud message" to the corrupt career politicians and numerous insiders by offering way too much immunity than was necessary in that case.
As for the House Ethics Committee, well, we already know that they don't like going after their own. However, members are just not permitted to cast a negative light on the "institution" and when they do, then they sometimes do the right thing. But don't kid yourselves either, they have also been known to sweep things under the rug too. As such, we should never get complacent or naive enough to believe that there haven't been more than a few members who have done an illicit thing or two and gotten away with it. I suppose it just comes down to "how indiscreet" their indiscretion was.
As for Jesse Jackson Jr. allegedly trying to buy President Obama's old U.S. Senate Seat. Well, if that is true then a simple slap on the wrist just won't do. In fact, if the allegations are true and the Ethics Committee avoids punishing the Illinois Representative - then they would be giving a collective slap across the face of every single American. And yes, that includes the children too.
So what will it be then? Will the House Ethics Committee do the right thing today and order a full-blown investigation or will they allow yet another member to skate away on the thin ice of a new day? Well, we are watching.
Hopefully they do the right thing!
Tags: House Ethics Commitee Probe of Jesse Jackson Jr., House Ethics Committee, House of Representatives, News and Opinion, Op Ed, President Barack Obama, President Barack Obama's Old Senate Seat, US Congress, US Representative Jesse Jackson Jr.