Fighting Its Image Problem

Congress launches an investigation of sex and drug charges

The cartoons are ubiquitous and derisive, picturing Congressmen as flashers or high-bouncing coke snorters. Jokes are traded in the streets, on TV talk shows, even on Capitol Hill. To most Congressmen, however, the allegations that some of them have had homosexual relations with teen-age pages or use cocaine are anything but funny. On their visits home over the Fourth of July recess, they got an earful from angry constituents. Says Arkansas Democrat Bill Alexander: "The people were outraged, incensed and repulsed."

What especially troubles the...

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