Jesse Jackson Jr. had it all. He is a handsome, dapper young man that is able to speak well, and he has a famous name which gave him entry into all facets of the world.
He parlayed his attributes and good fortune into a seat in the United States House of Representatives, a position millions would give anything to occupy, and he was virtually assured a seat for life if not even greater political heights unless he were to run into trouble with the law.
When I learned that Jackson and his wife were to agree to a plea bargain for raping his campaign coffers of $750,000 and filing false federal income tax returns, I thought first about his famous father and how son Jesse had betrayed and humiliated him. One can debate how successful he has been in his purported mission, but one can agree that Reverend Jackson has devoted his life to providing a voice for those at the bottom of society: the underprivileged, disadvantaged, disenfranchised, and the poor. Jesse Jr. disavowed and trashed all that his father claimed to stand for, stealing money not due to a drug or gambling addiction (not that such an addiction would justify his actions), not because he needed money to provide for his family, but to live high on the hog with expensive luxury items.
It is imperative that Jackson and his co-conspirator wife go to jail. Anything less would be to trivialize grand theft that was engaged in by those who know better.
Two questions arise from the Jackson Jr. debacle: Why do people like him engage in slimy, unlawful conduct when they know or should know that they will not get away with it? Which is the more corrupt state, Illinois or Pennsylvania? Illinois is known primarily for corrupt governors, Pennsylvania for corrupt legislative leaders.