DC Trawler

Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Illinois) still hiding

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I was going to say “missing,” but that’s not the right word. He isn’t where he’s supposed to be, doing his job, but it’s not like nobody knows where he is or what he’s doing. It’s just that the people who do know refuse to say.

And how are we supposed to feel about that? Chicago Tribune:

WASHINGTON — — Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s congressional colleagues expressed sympathy Thursday over his medical leave, but some said the incomplete explanations of his illness have been a case of botched public relations that has fueled the rumor mill.

“I’ve heard 10 different rumors,” fellow Illinois Democrat Mike Quigley said after the House adjourned for the week. “This is what happens when his staff, or whoever, doesn’t tell the public what’s going on.”

Jackson, 47, a Chicago Democrat, is undergoing treatment in an unnamed facility during a medical leave that began June 10 but was not announced for more than two weeks. His office at first said the congressman was suffering from exhaustion, then cited long-term “physical and emotional ailments,” and most recently released a statement from an unnamed doctor that Jackson had a mood disorder, a term that can cover such conditions as clinical depression or a bipolar disorder…

Jackson’s spokesman, Frank Watkins, said: “Everything is going on here and in (district offices in) Homewood and in Chicago as normal. Constituents continue to be served. Phone calls are answered. The only (thing), he’s obviously not voting.”

Missed votes during Jackson’s leave reached 97 on Thursday.

Oh, is that all?

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told by a reporter that there was “increasing frustration” among members about Jackson, questioned the premise. “Really? There has been increasing frustration?”

Of course not, Nancy. It’s not like he’s a Republican.

Hey, what happened the last time a U.S. Congressman disappeared for over a month and nobody would explain where he was? I can’t think of any examples off the top of my head, but surely there must be one. Why else would people like Nancy Pelosi be so nonchalant about it?

And of course, Rahm Emanuel chimes in:

“I know a lot of people are saying, ‘When is he going to get back to work? He should get back to work.’ Why would he go back to work to a Congress that does no work?” Emanuel said. “Why rush? Take care of your health. Guess what? Congress is going to be there.”

“Yawn, who cares? It’s only the vote you wasted on this guy, you loser.” This is just the sort of mayoral leadership that has made Chicago the gang-shooting capital of the country. Great job, Rahm!

Emanuel said that when someone is dealing with emotional and mental health issues, it doesn’t just affect the individual but also the family. “Just because you’re in public life doesn’t mean your zone of privacy ends,” he added.

If Jesse Jackson Jr. wants privacy after vanishing for a month, all he has to do is resign. As long as he’s an elected official, he works for the people who elected him. They’re his employers, and they deserve answers about where he is and what he’s doing instead of the job they elected him to do.

Oh, who am I kidding? It’s no big deal because, well, it just isn’t. Shut up.