The American public was treated this week to finally seeing the long awaited, although somewhat pre-determined conclusion of the Congressional Ethics Panel’s adjudication of the case against Rep. Charlie Rangel D (NY).  An ending that culminated with this Panel finding Rangel guilty in 11 of 13 charges of ethics violations against him, and a recommended punishment of Censure, which if ratified by the Congress as a whole , would mean nothing more than a Public Condemnation of Rangel from the floor of the House, and then back to business as usual. 

This long and drawn out Dog and Pony show that seemed to have it all. Everything from delay after delay and continued postponements, all the way to Rangel finally showing up with NO lawyers, after failing to pay his defense team enough money. Money that is reported to have come from his PAC ( Political Action Committee ), which is in itself another illegal and unethical act. ( It never ends for these people does it? )  
Rangel actually walked out of the proceedings after a few minutes of Pontification and general chastising of the Panel procedures. Playing the pity card and wrapping himself within the cloak of his “50 years of service”, and casting shame on them for having the gall to even question his ethics and behavior. After all, HE IS CHARLIE RANGEL!  the King of Harlem.
 A performance so humorous in it’s predictable detachment from reality, that it could have easily been written by the people who brought us ” Three’s Company” so many years ago. And if that was not enough for you, the comedy continues as we will see the same ineffective activity again when the case against Rep. Maxine Waters starts in earnest the Monday after Thanksgiving Day.
This ethics board system itself is a bit of a sham, because it is NOT manned by Citizens. It is instead comprised of Members of Congress. The same members who are most likely themselves participants in one way or another, of the same type of elitist, self-enriching, backroom dealing and manipulation of the system in their favor, that Rangel and Waters have reveled in.
Granted, This is a TRUE jury of his peers. The problem with this structure, is that his “peers” are just as prone to deceit, corruption and graft as he is.  And we are supposed to expect some form of Justice to come from all this chicanery?  Would you fill a jury for Bernie Madoff with his accomplices?
There are far too many skeletons in the Congressional closets, for any of these individuals to man an ethics board that proposes to keep true ethics as their goal. One never knows what might be leaked in an act of retribution.
It is also intellectually shortsighted to think that these were the only two who are currently wrought with the stench and stain of malfeasance. Just as shortsighted as to think that what we are witnessing is a “One Party”  phenomenon and infestation, when so many of these gargoyles have roosted in place for two, three and sometimes even four decades. ( That is a long time to bury bones Folks. )
 It would be the height of ignorance to think that many if not most, have not dabbled or even mastered this art of  “creative application ” when it comes to deciding which laws they will follow, much less enforce upon each other. Laws that we MUST follow, or risk for ourselves much more than their typical Congressional slaps on the wrists. ( What happens to you if you fail to report over $500,000 of taxable income for years? )
We must also remember that the findings of this panel, are merely recommendations to the Congress as a whole. They have the option to follow this recommendation for Censure, “Honor Up” and actually expel Rangel from Congress totally, or Do Nothing!  And after hiding under Nancy Pelosi’s skirt for so long, ( I know, not the visual you might like to imagine ), it is highly unlikely that she will allow any real harm to come to her fellow Gargoyle. Lord knows what skeletal remains he might leak after forty years in Washington if he feels he is cast out unfairly.
And where is AG Holder and his people in all this?  Laws have been broken.. federal tax laws amongst others. I guess he and his people are just too busy and hard at work after this week’s Terrorist Trial fiasco,  figuring out how to avoid bringing any more of the 9/11 conspirators currently in custody to justice, before he is eventually ran out of town with his Boss. ( If he even lasts that long! )
This charade that they call  “Ethics Panels” is merely one more instance where we the citizens can see for ourselves, just how far removed from the people and the laws that we must abide by, that we have allowed our elected officials to become. They feel Untouchable in their Ivory Towers, and we have left them untouched for too long.
The so called “Swamp” will never be drained, as long as we allow these creatures to monitor themselves. This current Ethics Panel System is nothing more than taking the beast from the muck, slapping it upside the head as punishment for allowing itself to be seen, and then tossing it right back into the depths of the Corrupt Canal.  All Show!  No Go!
I feel that shamed and embattled ex-Presidential Candidate Sen. John Edwards had it exactly right when he spoke of “Two America’s”. There is an America for all of us who must follow the rules and laws of this Nation or face the consequences, and then there is the America for them, the Self-Made Kings and Queens of our Government,  who sit and feed endlessly at the teet of our labors,  and dole out any resemblence of “real justice” so sparingly and begrudgingly against each other.

9 Responses to “Charlie “Rangels” Ethics Panel”

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