Unseemly Manners in the Capitol

‘Money and morals are rarely on speaking terms.’

By Harry M. Covert
November 28, 2017

Has the nation figured out that the country’s real problems lie in the Capitol Building? Apparently lots of citizens have had no clue until lately as leaders’ public and private lives have been bared. Blemishes of the heretofore legislative bodies are laid before the entire 50-states plus all the territories and the world.

Who would have imagined the members of what’s described as the most distinguished club in the world had “no clothes.” That’s the U. S. Senate. Then the brother and sisters of the House of Representatives weren’t excluded from illicit conduct usually reserved for bawdy houses or those described as places of “ill repute.”

Quite naturally pundits use the phrase “double standards.” It’s proper to think that. It’s not appropriate to pay off victims of the sexual improprieties with taxpayers’ money. Congress obviously has no shame, and it’s been going on for sessions after sessions. Is the public shocked or surprised? No.

That great fictional detective Nero Wolfe said “money and morals are rarely on speaking terms.” Other smart people may recall William Shakespeare’s words, “What’s past is prologue.” An advertising writer scribbled “out of the past the future.”

Often here the man from Independence, Missouri, is quoted for his wisdom: “You can’t get rich in politics unless you are a crook.” Look it up.

Among the astonishing Washington elites there appears no dishonor in their personal and professional conduct. These elected, more often than not, say one thing and do another. Civilians appearing before congressional committees dare not state any “stretchers.” For non-Mark Twain enthusiasts the word means “lies.”

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Those members of the Congress involved in the sexual charges these days would have a hard time at any bar of justice. Imagine if they had to “swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” in courts of law. Judges of all jurisdictions take dim views about perjury.

For clarity, the unseemly manners are not partisan. Their predecessors haven’t been excused for their proclivities. It’s too late to excoriate the past perhaps, but readers need only Google, or Yahoo, or visit libraries to find the large list of violators.

The smoke screens are flowing, the fog is enveloping the Capitol (that’s the building) and it won’t be long before the names of the violators and the amounts of the payoffs will be made public. For sure the Internet searches are already under way to see who got the federal money.

There may be some giddiness and anxiety to find out the funds recipients. The latest scandals would make old-time newspaper gossip columnists blush with envy. Even the alleged cross-dresser J. Edgar Hoover might find it interesting. His files would be replete with the real secretive facts of all the congressional scoundrels. The director would be in high cotton these days. He could probably go to work in a dress without shock.

So, who will be the ethics judges in the Congress? Don’t be flabbergasted – senators and House members. Honesty and veracity. Don’t laugh, or grimace, please.

While the rest of the United States and the world prepare for the holidays, hoping for peace and joy to the world, anticipation abounds as to the naming of other well-knowns caught up in the misdeeds and abuse of others. It’s normal curiosity to wait for “whose next,” obviously the American way.

Such conduct among political leaders, Hollywood and some media people is a blight on the nation’s character. Unfortunately, it’s truly not something new under the sun but is now in the public arena.

Not funny to the victims at all. ◄◄◄◄◄


This column has appeared in The Tentacle.