Random posts on all sorts of things designed to inform and provoke.
Representative Jesse Jackson Jr., the 47 year-old son of civil-rights leader Jesse Jackson, resigned from his position as the Congressional representative of Chicago’s South Side-based 2nd Congressional District on Wednesday, November 21. Jackson, a Democrat, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1995, beginning a career that was expected to culminate with a trip to the White House. His fortunes followed this upward trajectory until four years ago when, ironically, he was the leading contender to take over President Obama’s Senate seat. Instead Jackson’s name got caught up in an indictment against then-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, another Democrat who was charged and convicted for trying to sell the president’s Senate seat to the highest bidder.
Since that time, Jackson has exhibited some truly bizarre behavior. His last congressional vote was on June 8, he had not been seen in his office for the past six months and had undergone multiple stints at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota – allegedly battling depression and bipolar disorder. In addition, Jackson is being investigated by the Justice Department for possible misuse of campaign funds; by the way, I’m sure this had nothing to do with his resignation or bizarre behavior.
Despite these apparent concerns and the ongoing investigation, Jackson ran for a ninth term and, even though he never campaigned, easily won his seat, insisting in his victory remarks, that he would return to Congress. That tune changed 15 days later when Jackson announced in his resignation letter that, as his health deteriorated and ability to serve his constituents diminished, he came to the realization that he was unable to serve his constituents. Jackson’s resignation smacks of irresponsibility, as the state now has to hold another election within 115 days and ask voters – already tired from a never-ending election season – to elect someone to replace this guy. Speaking of being inconsiderate, Jackson has not spoken to his constituents – except through the one resignation letter that came out this week. Finally, some have suggested that Jackson’s wife or his brother could replace him; given how Jackson has treated the voters, it would be appalling if either one of them ran for the office and sad if one of them actually won.