“I hope the President continues to exercise extraordinary constitutional means, based on the history of Congresses that have been in rebellion in the past. He’s looking administratively for ways to advance the causes of the American people, because this Congress is completely dysfunctional. President Obama tends to idealize — and rightfully so — Abraham Lincoln, who looked at states in rebellion and he made a judgment that the government of the United States, while the states are in rebellion, still had an obligation to function…On several occasions now, we’ve seen … the Congress is in rebellion, determined, as Abraham Lincoln said, to wreck or ruin at all costs. I believe … in the direct hiring of 15 million unemployed Americans at $40,000 a head, some more than $40,000, some less than $40,000 — that’s a $600 billion stimulus. It could be a five-year program. For another $104 billion, we bailout all of the states … for another $100 billion, we bailout all of the cities.”
—– Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-Ill.), telling the Daily Caller how he thinks unemployment should be addressed. Jackson inexplicably left out the part where Superman gives President Obama a magic lamp, and the President uses his three wishes to turn all his political opponents into beef jerky, banish the national debt, and make money grow from beans that get delivered to every American daily by a suddenly solvent postal service, transported around the country in Santa’s sleigh.
Jackson’s quote is many things: frightening, funny, tragic, sad, infuriating, shocking. Here at Ethics Alarms, it could have won him the Incompetent Elected Official of the week, and it also qualifies him as an Ethics Dunce, just as it disqualifies him from serving in the House of Representatives, any city council, or a senior prom decorations committee. Mostly, however, it demonstrates the pathetic quality of thought and responsibility in the U.S. Congress, and the juvenile level of analysis that flourishes there. Jesse Jackson Jr. is not the most unqualified member of Congress. Think about that.
First, however, ponder what Jackson’s words suggest. When national leadership has failed miserably, it isn’t the leadership, but the system that needs to be overhauled. (Accountability? What’s that?) Because a majority of the elected body that he belongs to has different ideas about policy than the President, the President should by-pass the body and the Constitution—justified, because Jackson supports the President. (Process? Democracy? Fairness?) The President should treat Congress like the seceding Confederate States, because they are similarly “in rebellion”—a direct call for dictatorship. [History? Logic? Proportion? Sanity?] And, although government’s irresponsible fiscal policies, cowardly responses to long-standing problems and incompetent regulation are deeply implicated in the current mess, the solution is for the same government to just solve everything by hiring everyone—to do what?—and pay off everyone’s debts—with what?—leaving it with one more massive responsibility to botch.
Jackson’s “thinking” is certainly on the same page with the Occupy Wall Street protesters, but high elected officials have to be held to higher standards of discourse and advocacy than bearded, shirtless, stoned guys beating drums in a park (as well as Michael Moore and Paul Krugman). Jackson breached the professional ethics of the House by embarrassing everyone in it, and his comments approach new lows in their complete abandonment of responsibility, reason, and respect for the Constitution, national institutions and the rule of law.
4 thoughts on “Unethical Quote of the Week: Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.”
You left out “corrupt” in the resume, Jack. Like President Obama himself, Jackson is a product of the most vicious urban political machine in the country. The acquisition of power is his goal, religion and purpose for existence. To that end, nothing is off the table. That includes his oath to defend the Constitution. The senatorial scandal alone should have marked him to one and all. But now, as he and others sense a shift in the political tides against them- and with their goal of perpetual power having been so tantalizingly within reach after 2008- such officals as he are prepared to take any steps to consolidate and expand on what they’ve won. That, apparently, includes the destruction of any meaningful residue of the once free Republic. This presumes, of course, that this wasn’t the ultimate goal from the beginning.
You would think that any politician inclined to advocate such things as Jackson, Jr. is, would stop and think for just a moment about the boomerang principle. Namely, this one could come back and bite them some day. If, say, Mitt Romney was in the White House, but saddled with a reverse of the situation in Congress today, would he want to see Romney decide “Well, heck, I’ll just sidestep Congress. They’re in rebellion, anyway.” Or would he scream bloody murder about how Romney is a Nazi at heart, with no respect for the democratic process? That’s a rhetorical question, of course.
The House has no professional ethics to breach. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but maybe there’s such a thing as TOO accountable in this day and age. House members are in a state of constant campaign because their terms are so short, so they pull ridiculous stunts and say idiotic things to garner votes from their asinine partisan bases because nobody moderate votes in a midterm (My apologies if you ARE a moderate who votes in midterms, but you’re a statistical outlier). Exhibit A: Rep. Jackson. Exhibit B: Everybody else in the House who ever makes the news.
Three notes. One: Jesse Jackson Jr. has learned well from his father, who was not above blackmailing corporations for contributions, etc. Both lost, very early on, the real purpose and meaning of the civil rights movement and turned it into a scam and political “victimology” ideology, and a utilitarian approach to their own ends that opposes both the Constitution and the law. Jesse Jr. should be shunned, impeached, and generally driven out of the public discourse based on his comments. The politics of division will not help Obama or any other black candidate, by the way, because aside from Asians blacks are now the smallest minority in the country.
Second: To paraphrase Sarah Palin: “D’ya think young Jesse ever read the Constitution? D’ya think he knows about that ol’ “separation of powers” thingy?” (Or, that old “reality thingy?” Pay them to do WHAT?)
Third: Unfortunately, criticism of Junior (as with Senior) will be minimal… because they happen to the black. Ipso facto racism, y’know.