The Criminal Congress

By Gamal Hennessy

When I was learning how to be a writer, I found out there are two types of criminals. One type breaks the law, the other makes the law. The law breakers include robbers, rapists and murderers. The lawmakers include the underhanded members of Congress who voted to abolish the Office of Congressional Ethics yesterday.

"House Republicans voted to eviscerate the Office of Congressional Ethics, the independent body created in 2008 to investigate allegations of misconduct by lawmakers after several bribery and corruption scandals sent members to prison. The ethics change, which prompted an outcry from Democrats and government watchdog groups, is part of a rules package that the full House will vote on Tuesday. The package also includes a means for Republican leaders to punish lawmakers if there is a repeat of the Democratic sit-in last summer over gun control."

- Donna Cassata: Associated Press

Now what might motivate Congress to eliminate ethical oversight? Is it possible that they are so upstanding and moral that the OCE is an unnecessary expense? Or is it because they plan to conduct so many ethical violations that they want to avoid any and all oversight into their illegal activities? 

And what is worse? Is it the murderer who kills a man in cold blood or the politician who cripples national healthcare, imprisons people for profit and helps destroy the environment for his corporate masters? Is it a matter of intimacy, or a matter of scale?

We’re about to find out.

Have fun.