AMANPOUR: Can I -- can I move over to Madrid again and ask Ahmed about this economy, because it obviously clearly impacts what's happening in -- in America's foreign policy, as well. What do people in Pakistan, who've been promised so much aid by the United States -- does this even figure in their debates when they look at the U.S., the fact that the money is shorter?
RASHID: Oh, it does very much. I mean, I think really people are fully aware that the continuation of the American presence in Afghanistan and the aid to Pakistan is dependent, is hostage, if you like, to whether the American economy picks up or not, especially in the autumn, when the surge will be completed, the troop surge will be completed, a very critical moment will appear when Obama has to decide what his next six-months, one-year policy is going to be in the policy review.
And all of this probably is going to be dominated by how effective or uneffective the American economy is doing. I mean, we've seen the vote in Congress now. I mean, what happens in three months' time if the vote in Congress is even more lopsided and more Democrats turn against the war?
AMANPOUR: That is indeed a big question. Let us move on, though, right now -- and I want to move on to something else that the Democrats made a huge, big deal about when they came in, and that was to have an ethical Congress, to have a -- you know, drain the swamp, as many people said. This is what President Obama said just in the last couple of days over the travails of Representative Charlie Rangel.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I think Charlie Rangel served a very long time and served his constituents very well, but these allegations are very troubling. And, you know, he's somebody who's at the end of his career, 80 years old. I'm sure that what he wants is to be able to end his career with dignity, and my hope is, is that happens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRAZILE: It would be politically expedient for Mr. Rangel to just step down and resign, but he's not the kind of lawmaker that would do that. These are serious allegations, and Mr. Rangel would like to have his day up on the Hill to defend himself, defend his honor, and answer to some of these charges.
Again, it's easy to drain the swamp if you have some type of Drano, but it's clogged up, and I think Mr. Rangel and others would like to have their day to clear their names.
AMANPOUR: What about the president making that pretty...
KRUGMAN: Yes, well, they...
AMANPOUR: ... dismissive statement?
KRUGMAN: No, I think it's fair enough. But, you know, let me ask -- there's something I don't understand about this whole thing. There are actually two major investigations of members of Congress underway right now. There's Charlie Rangel, who's accused of some fairly petty, although stupid and wrong, ethical violations, and there's Senator John Ensign, who's facing a criminal investigation and which actually -- it's even a story that involves sex. And you get no publicity whatsoever on the Ensign investigation.
Why is Rangel getting all this attention?
AMANPOUR: Is that fair, George?