Congressional ethics committees: What’s past is prolog


Glenn Reynolds notes that the two congressional ethics committees are off to a less than rapid start and observes, “It’s like it’s not meant to actually do anything.”

This is a longstanding tradition in American politics, going all the way back to Mark Twain’s day (Twain, of course, famously observed that America has no distinctly criminal class, except Congress. He and Gilded Age co-author Charles Dudley Warner didn’t think much of the ethics committee process of their day either: “Why does the Senate still stick to this pompous word, Investigation?’ One does not blindfold one’s self in order to investigate an object.”