In 1988 when I ran for Congress a friend of mine, Philip M. Stern, wrote the book The Best Congress Money Can Buy and even though a Democratic activist, Stern was on to something. Today, 60 Minutes and Peter Schweizer, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, are revisiting the reality of soft corruption within Congress and the laws that don’t apply to Congress but which apply to you and me – in fact – laws which would make the actions of many congressmen subject to insider trading criminal laws.
Not too many people see 60 Minutes, so here is the complete video of their report from last night. It is well worth your time to watch the entire report.
While most people focus on the soft corruption, not too many talk about the cynicism such reports breed among the electorate. Are we surprised that Occupy Wall Street, or the Tea Party, or skinheads, or any other group begins to express their frustration because of the huge divide that exists between the average American citizen and their elected officials? The ruling elite has become so arrogant, so sure of themselves, that the easiest answer to give is that we did nothing “illegal.” Of course, what is legal, and what is right, are often two different things. If you don’t believe that this arrogance exists, at 9:30 into the report Steve Kroft goes to Nancy Pelosi and asks a clear, unequivocal question and her only response is “what is the point of your question?”
I find her – and all of them – disgusting in that regard. They are out of touch. They are not public servants but self-servants. A broad over brush with respect to those that perhaps don’t do this? Yes, unless and until they introduce legislation to stop these shenanigans. Until those we sent begin to stand up daily, not only introducing legislation such as the “Stock Act” but also daily calling for the leadership to move the bill. That takes guts – and I haven’t seen that, even from those freshmen elected in 2010.
Call your Congressman. Ask them what they’re doing about this despicable appearance of impropriety.