Monday, September 20, 2010

Are Democrats and Republicans Trying to Ruin Black Politicians?

The current climate in Washington is tense. Not only are the upcoming midterm elections expected to change the future political landscape, but so too will the recent rash of ethical complaints leveled at prominent Democrats.

Two longtime members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Charles Rangel and Maxine Waters are being investigated for alleged ethics violations.

Both of the aforementioned have declined plea offers and have accepted to fight the charges publicly prior to the November elections.

Since the establishment of the Office of Congressional Ethics by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in 2009, all eight individuals cited for alleged ethics violations have been members of the Congressional Black Caucus, meaning all are African American. As such, many are starting to question if these investigations are racially or politically motivated.

The recent allegations against Congressman Rangel, who faces 13 ethics charges, including improper fundraising and tax evasion, and Congresswoman Maxine Waters, whom the House ethics subcommittee has alleged broke ethics rules by lobbying Treasury officials for a $25 million bailout of OneUnited Bank in Boston, have given Congress a witch hunt environment. Waters’ husband, former NFL player Sidney Williams, has a financial stake in OneUnited.

In addition, the GOP has incessantly promoted an all-out ground assault against President Obama. Ironically all of this is happening while Republicans are trying to make the upcoming elections a referendum against the Democrat-controlled Congress and White House.

If the trials of Rangel and Waters do manifest, they may serve the interests of the GOP by driving a wedge between the Democratic Party, mainly the Obama White House, and his large corpus of African American supporters, and white Democrats.

The strange thing is that what Rangel and Waters are charged with is historically no different than activities conducted by former President George W. Bush.

Although to the dismay of many Democrats, Obama refused to charge the Bush administration with any criminal acts regarding his war against Iraq and his involvement with Enron.

During the first nine months of his administration, Bush used his presidential powers to assist his personal friend, Enron CEO Kenneth Lay, in covering up criminal activity. Bush fought vehemently against imposing caps on the price of electricity in California when Enron drove up prices artificially by manipulating and controlling supply. In addition, under the Bush administration, Lay was able to influence the administration's energy policies. In fact, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was replaced in 2001 after he started an investigation into the now-illegal complex derivative-financing schemes practiced by Enron.

However, the Republicans are willing to take the opposite road if they are able to win back the U.S. House of Representatives in November. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has stated that he will launch several investigations of the Obama administration if he becomes chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Of specific importance to Issa is the Obama administration’s alleged interference in U.S. Senate races in Pennsylvania and Colorado. Issa has attacked the administration with ethical wrongdoing charges consistently since Obama took office.

The double standard with respect to how Republicans and Democrats are being treated in regards to ethics violations sends mixed messages to the African American community. First it looks as if the white Democratic leadership, in concert with the GOP, is targeting blacks singularly. Second, it lets the world see America’s hypocrisy in regards to how Republicans are treated compared to black political officials, especially if one happens to be the first African American president of the United States of America.


Ensayn1 said...

These charges against Rangel and Waters may be a prelude to how Republicans and those Republicans that are Democrat in name only will focus their time on the President, should they take control of the House and Senate. The blinded public that believes there will be headway made in the arena of jobs and such are, once again being duped, or allowing themselves to be duped.

neshia said...

rangel try to put congressman gk butterfild in his mess also hello torrance

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