I don’t have a lot to say about the FBI visit to Congressman William Jefferson’s office. Certainly it has the potential to raise interesting Constitutional issues, but I don’t know enough about the warrant, or the circumstances around the search of his office.
However, the response by Congress has been… disturbing. Suddenly, Democrats and Republicans are outraged at the notion that they might be subject to a search. Welcome to America.
As Glenn Reynolds said (thanks, Allan):
At any rate, members of Congress who are offended by an unannounced late-night raid on an office might profitably be asked what they think about late-night unannounced raids on private homes, which happen all the time as part of the Congressionally-mandated War on Drugs. If anything, it ought to work the other way. I think if you searched 435 randomly selected American homes, and 435 Congressional offices, you just might find more evidence of crime in the latter. . . .
Exactly. These politicians live in such an insulated bubble completely separate from the United States of America, that they have no clue what we’ve been screaming about for years.
Interestingly, the party lines are bizarre in this mess. Red State notes some quotes showing Republicans Lott, Boehner and Hastert outraged at the search of the Democrat Congressman’s office, with Democrat Reid supporting the FBI.
That doesn’t take the Democrats off the hook, however.
Particularly disturbing is the reaction by the Congressional Black Caucus when Pelosi suggested that Jefferson vacate his committee seat during the investigation.
Outraged that one of its members was being picked on even though he has not been charged with a crime, the Congressional Black Caucus had intended to issue a defiant statement against their leader but agreed after the meeting to pause, at least briefly, for reflection. […]
Most lawmakers would not comment afterwards, but a CBC aide summed up some members’ frustration, saying, “Congresswoman Pelosi, by preemption without any legal justification, has now created a new precedent for how members are going to be treated. Unfortunately, she’s chosen to single out an African-American for this honor.”
Then the aide added an electoral threat, saying, “The African-American community, which overwhelmingly backs the Democratic Party, will not take this lightly. I hope she enjoys being minority leader.”
If only the CBC would get even a little bit outraged when African-American citizens are targeted in the Drug War. They have power and could use it, but have been relatively silent about the impact of the Drug War on the African-American community. While they have talked about mandatory minimums and racial profiling and actually seemed to be a little bit interested in the drug war back in 1998, the drug war isn’t even mentioned in the CBC current list of priorities.
Since our politicians have no clue what it’s like to be citizens in the criminal system they’ve created, it would be nice if we could just declare them to be illegal aliens and have them deported