Wednesday, March 03, 2010

671 Rangel Wrangle Redux

671 Rangel Wrangle Redux

So Charlie is stepping down from the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means committee and he says he made that offer a long time ago but now... he doesn't want to get in the way of his colleagues who are running for re-election. Including, one assumes, himself. They've pressured the guy off the throne. It's supposed to be a temporary beheading. But sometimes, even with today's advances in microsurgery, it's tough to reattach a head.

Again, this is much ado about nothing. Couple'a trips that he either did or didn't know were sponsored by some business types. (Anyone going after the business types. as in "do you really think you should have offered these trips?" Nah. Didn't think so.)

Endangered national security, Charlie did, just about the same way Clinton endangered national security with Monica. Not at all.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't exactly cricket. Or kosher. But our esteemed legislators are pushing this elderly and effective and likable guy out of the way of... what? And at the same time, next door, they're kissing Sen. Bunning's ugly rump and calling him a man of principle for single handedly slicing off jobs and unemployment benefits? And they court his favor and plead with him at the same time they fry Charlie?

Let's see. A Congressman takes a junket he probably shouldn't have and a senator wrecks the lives and income of tens of thousands of people, keeps roads unsafe and uninspected. Which one's the unethical one?

The cases are not the same, of course. But the after effects are or could be similar.

Some think Representative Rangel should say something to the effect of "screw it. I've done enough. I'm 80. I'm out of here." But he won't do that and shouldn't. Plus it's not in him to back away from a fight.

But make no mistake about it: Rangel may be slightly ethically challenged but he doesn't deserve to be knocked around like some featherweight.

And the house ethics committee (does that sound like an oxymoron?) is not finished with him. There'll be more and it'll look ugly and it'll look meaningful and it won't be. At least he's not trying to cover stuff up. They won't end up calling this "Charliegate."

Or maybe they will.




Shrapnel:

--Liked Leno's return to the Tonight Show. Seems like he never left. But the new set is nicer.

--Leno used a "Wizard of Oz" parody to re-introduce himself on "Tonight." There are more examples of metaphors from the film than there are people who've seen the film. But there are scarce few from the books, which were a lot darker than the chirpy musical.

--Scarecrows, Tin Men, Cowardly Lions, "Little men behind the curtain" "Wicked Witches," "Yellow brick roads," Opium somnambulations and huge crystal balls abound. And most of the people who use them weren't alive when the film was made in 1939, let alone in 1900 when the book was published. Not a lot else from either of those eras remains in common use today.


I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010

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