Powerful Democrats No Strangers to Scandal

But the flap built on a growing belief that politicians were getting perks and treatment that ordinary Americans couldn't, something the minority Republicans saw and exploited, even if it harmed a handful of its own members. Recalled Ornstein, "at that point, [America was] in the midst of a populist uprising against elitists, especially those we elected, who lived like kings while the rest of us suffered."

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