Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu sold their reputations for hometown deals as part of the Senate health care bill. Now that the Senate bill is dead, they have nothing to show for the sale.

Raymond J. Donovan was Secretary of Labor under Ronald Reagan. Donovan was indicted for fraud unrelated to his public service, and resigned. At the end of the trial, Donovan was found not guilty on all charges. After his acquittal “Donovan, rigid and pale, called out to Prosecutor Stephen Bookin, ‘Give me back my reputation!'” In a famous scene, standing on the court house steps, Donovan further proclaimed “Which office do I go to get my reputation back?”

Nelson and Landrieu can’t even demand their reputations back. Because unlike Donovan, they sold their reputations, and there are no returns.

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