Bachmann's Right Idea

On July 22, 2010, hearings began on Charlie Rangel’s ethics(D-NY) woesRangel was charged with ethics violations. Throughout the following week, Rangel worked to make a deal that culminated in formal charges on July 29 as first he had reached a deal and then hadn’t.

On the heels of the Rangel scandal, comes Maxine Waters (D-CA) who is brought up on ethics charges.

The action against Rep. Waters comes at a sensitive time for the Democratic Party, which is hoping to retain control of the House in the midterm elections in November. Last week, the House ethics committee formally charged Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel of New York with 13 counts of violating congressional rules, mostly related to his efforts to raise donations from companies for an educational institution that bears his name. Rep. Rangel has denied any intentional wrongdoing.

On July 22,2010, the same day as the Rangel hearings began, while addressing the GOP Youth Convention in Washington, Bachmann stated

“all we should do is issue subpoenas and have one hearing after another.”

Someone taped the audio so you can hear it in her own words:

Within days of the Waters decision and as the Bachmann audio made the rounds on the internet, Pelosi insists the swamp is drained.Democratic congressional leaders say they’ve emptied the swamp of congressional corruption. Never mind the ethics trials to come for two longtime party members.

“Drain the swamp we did, because this was a terrible place,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last week of the Republican rule in the House that ended in January 2007.

Are Rangel and Waters to be rabbit-holed? Is it as the Congressional Black Caucus complains, that it is motivated by race?

Not only are the ethics charges a big problem for the Democratic majority, they also appear to be firing up a race debate. The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has levied allegations that the charges against Rangel and Waters (both black) are motivated by their race.

While Pelosi’s claim alone is enough to support Bachmann’s idea of subpoenas and hearings, there are a few others one would like to bring into the mix. The Democrats are facing huge upsets this November, some in unlikely states and districts within those states; and a few Senators, too. Though Bachmann was speaking more about the Obama administration, the idea is applicable to Congress as well.

The first, the swamp is not drained, in any way, shape, or form. How about Pelosi herself? The Senate is no better.

Second, whether it’s incompetence or sheer bravado, the Democrats are incapable of cleaning their own house, while quite adept at forcing others to clean theirs.

Thirdly, we don’t need a Clinton Redux.

Mr. Emanuel argued that this generation of liberal political figures won’t repeat their predecessors’ mistakes in not reaching deals on health care. The late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy said his greatest regret was not cutting a deal with Richard Nixon on universal health care. Former President Bill Clinton has lamented that he didn’t take up moderate Republican Sen. John Chafee on a compromise that could have secured a health-care bill early in his presidency, Mr. Emanuel said.

“Every time they’ve gotten close to the deal, they’ve passed up the opportunity and chosen to walk away from a particular chance where they’ve lost the forest for the trees,” Mr. Emanuel said.

Given Obama’s propensity for deal making to pass his legislative agenda, let’s not do that again. Let the message be hearings and restoration of our inalienable rights endowed by our Creator, not more deal making and compromise, whether the slow creep or crisis.

Obama said Rangel should resign with dignity. Should he? One believes Congresswoman Waters can answer that better than I (embed malfunction, sorry).

Update: On the other hand, perhaps there is something to the accusations made by the Congressional Black Caucus. One really doesn’t pay much attention to race over character. But apparently there were once 8 Congressional members under investigation; all black, with one member of the caucus anonymously quoted as saying:

There’s a “dual standard, one for most members and one for African-Americans,” said one member of the Congressional Black Caucus, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Anonymous or not, welcome to the conservatives’ world Congressmen. We know well that “dual standard.”

And then there’s this, which popped up on the front page after I published mine.