How Congress Got Filled With Future Ex-Cons
This soft spot for rascals seems surprising in a nation founded by bluenose Puritans and virtue-obsessed Revolutionaries, but charming sinners often trump priggish saints.
With one U.S. senator standing trial and one ex-con congressman running for Congress, let’s face it: Americans admire goody-goodies, but love a good rogue.
Since Sept. 6, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) has been on trial, fighting a 22-count indictment for corruption; yet last year, 42 percent of New Jersey voters approved of him, with only 32 percent disapproving. Ex-congressman Michael Grimm just announced he wants to return to serving the people, having served time for tax fraud. He insists the prosecution was politically motivated—and is being hugged and high-fived in Staten Island diners.
This soft spot for rascals seems surprising in a nation founded by bluenose Puritans and virtue-obsessed Revolutionaries. But considering that Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush beat Al Gore, and Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush, charming sinners clearly trump priggish saints in our politics.