Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) has left the building. And the Congress.
Unlike other congressional scandals, this one has no impact on Congress because Schock himself left no footprints in Congress.
He could have been a regional sales director for Frito-Lay, or Snap-On Tools, padding his expense account to pay for ski trips. But for six years, he was a congressman, padding his expense accounts to pay for ski trips. (And many other kind of trips.)
Tom DeLay, Dan Rostenkowski, Jim Wright … all had power and all were forced out.
Schock bilked the government to pay for frequent flights to exotic locations for edgy backdrops for his Instagram shoots. These aren’t selfies, as his entourage usually included a paid (from padding) professional photographer.
He turned himself into a two-dimensional image. To support his drug habit … er, scratch that, his Instagram habit, he committed fraud, and now he’s gone.
Words and phrases associated with Aaron Schock: rockstar … top chef … fashion icon … Instagram … break down barriers … tango pix … change perceptions … celebrity … fast and furious … Peoria.
Schock didn’t fit in Peoria, or even in Washington. So, he hit the road.
Aaron Schock pretended to be a Member of Congress in order to draw attention to himself by being the polar extreme of the common perception of what a congressman looks like. He never thought to be a different kind of congressman, or to serve more capably. That’s conventional ambition; besides, you have to keep your shirt on.
Schock did not “have” an image, he “is” an image. He chose to be the un-congressman. Now, with his sudden decision to quit — the only meaningful action he’s ever taken as a congressman — he actually is an un-congressman.
He is SnapChat. Look once, deleted.
Asked about those who criticized his frauds, he said, no kidding, ”Haters gonna hate.” As if by tailoring a swift delivery of pop psychology helps him to shake it off, shake it off.
The next phase of Aaron Schock’s life will be as a defendant in prosecutions of his various frauds.
The most memorable five words in Schock’s future? “Will the defendant please rise.”
Michael Boland is the Principal and Founder of Dome Advisors.