America Speaking Out

Living the High Life After Congress

As the latest chapter in the curious saga of Congressman Aaron “Fly Me” Schock recently came to an end, there was an unintentionally, darkly comic moment. It happened just after the Downton Abbey fanboy announced his resignation from the House of Representatives.

In an interview, his father, Dr. Richard Schock, told a Chicago TV station, “Ten years from now, whatever he’s doing, he’ll be successful at it. I promise you that. Two years from now, he’ll be successful… if he’s not in jail.”

Now that’s a proud dad for you — assuming my boy’s not in the slammer, he’ll be on top of the world. But Papa Doc may have a point. In fact, what do you want to bet that if Aaron Schock’s not in jail, he’ll soon be back on Capitol Hill, a success once again, pulling in an even heftier paycheck — not as an elected official but as a privileged member of the lobbying class — pressing the flesh, making deals, and facilitating fat campaign contributions for the GOP the same way he did while a congressman, plying the rich with concert tickets, fancy dinners and other assorted perks?

Look at former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor – an even bigger Republican money magician — defeated in a primary in his Virginia home district by an upstart who made the incumbent’s obeisance to the financial industry a central issue of his campaign. Remember The Wall Street Journal’s headline? “Eric Cantor’s Loss a Blow to Wall Street.”

Turns out it was a glancing blow at best. Eric’s back and Wall Street’s got him. AsThe New York Times’ Mark Leibovich wrote, just weeks after his primary fiasco, Cantor was “the latest example of Washington’s upward-failing, golden-parachuted, everybody-wins calculus.”

Sure enough, September came and with it news that Cantor was joining the boutique global investment bank Moelis & Company. The Times commented when the announcement first appeared in The Wall Street Journal:

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