Many of us have seen too many of these stories about Congress Members being caught in a web of possible ethics violation and many have eluded a public hearing by making a deal. These stories may appear to give closure to those involved but they do not offer the same to voters. The only thing voters end up with is a confirmation of their opinion that all politicians are crooks and should be believed about as much as a used car salesperson.
“The calls from fellow Democrats for New York Rep. Charles Rangel to resign could quickly turn from a trickle to a flood unless he can quickly negotiate a plea bargain to prevent a congressional trial on allegations of ethical misconduct.” “With elections nearing, fellow Democrats don’t relish the spectacle of that trial.” “An ethics committee panel of four Democrats and four Republicans has scheduled a public hearing where the charges against Rangel would be aired in public for the first time.” “The subcommittee’s task is to decide whether the charges can be proved by clear and convincing evidence.” “Just spelling them out would be bad enough, Democrats running for re-election feel.” “All said, even late in the day, they remained hopeful that Rangel could somehow agree to a deal in which he would admit wrongdoing and accept some sort of punishment.” “That way, the Democrats could go into the election season without having to answer for an unseemly ethics trial.” “And Rangel would almost certainly win re-election in the New York district where he is revered.” (Margasak, Larry and Kellman, Laurie; 7/28/2010, Associated Press, Calls for Rangel to quit could escalate if no deal, Retrieved from firstname.lastname@example.org).
How could this be a good thing if allowed to proceed for Democrats? Quite simple really, it will give those with an interest in how government works a “bird’s eye” view of these procedures and it will allow democrats to boast that they are the real transparent party and no one is above the law. It will allow them to say in quite a believable way that their party will always take responsibility for its actions and will no longer hide in the shadows. It will allow democrats to show just how strong they are willing to be on equal justice under the law for all and nothing will be more believable than Charles Rangel defending his case in public. For a legend and an icon like Charles Rangel to be held to the same standards means that big business, big oil, Wall Street and all lobbyists does not stand a chance with Democrats in charge. Just a thought.