Matthew Cooper blogs a political eulogy:

There's something comic and familiar, of course, about a Louisiana politician going to jail. We've come to expect colorful rogues in jumpsuit orange. There's something more tragic to the fall of William Jefferson. Maybe because he was the state's first African American congressman since Reconstruction or maybe it's because he's a Harvard-trained lawyer. [...] Jefferson's arrival in Congress in 1991 was another sign of the rise of biracial politics in the South even if the district had been made still blacker to all but ensure the election of an African American.

The hopeful sign here is the 2nd district itself. Surprising almost everyone, the longtime Democratic district elected a Republican, Joseph Cao, who is of Vietnamese origin. He's the first native of Vietnam to serve in Congress, a sign that just as corruption remains endemic in American politics so does fluidity and surprise.

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