Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) got more bad news this week as the House Ethics Committee opened yet another probe into the congressman's activities -- this time it's about trips to the Caribbean.
New joke going around Washington: "Republicans hike the Appalachian Trail; Democrats hike your taxes. Either way, someone's getting screwed." As, the old saying goes -- some of the truest things are said in jest.
Washington Republicans -- more in the minority than they have been in decades -- are somewhat haplessly hoping that the Democrats mess up their own policies, rather than figure out how to stop them themselves. So, in the meantime, they keep themselves busy by getting busy -- usually with women not their own wives.
So, that means the Democrats are hard at work doing the business of governing, right? Alas, only partly right. They have actually taken fully the "responsibilities" that Republicans had when they were in the majority for twelve years that ended in 2006. Yes, that means the Democrats are now the ones in charge of the "culture of corruption."
The poster child for the new world order? House Ways & Means Chairman Charlie Rangel. He's been under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for close to a year now on a whole passel of charges. This week, the committee announced a new line of inquiry, involving trips down to the Caribbean, which may have been corporately-funded. Especially embarrassing is that it also involve four other Democrats with significant seniority and influence:
In addition to Rangel, other lawmakers who participated in the Caribbean trips include Reps. Carolyn Kirkpatrick (D-Mich.), Donald Payne (D-N.J.), Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Delegate Donna Christian-Christensen (D-V.I.).
All five Democrats are members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and two — Rangel and Thompson — wield full committee gavels at Ways and Means and Homeland Security, respectively.
A conservative nonprofit group, the National Legal and Policy Center, has charged that the trip may have broken House rules on corporate-sponsored travel.
Hmmm...nice ethics probe there: Five for the price of one!
Meanwhile, proving that the Democratic corruption meme is spreading to the local level, Monica Conyers, the president pro tem of the Detroit City Council just plead guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery. Now, normally such a local bit of corruption wouldn't create much of a ripple on the national level except for two things: First, Detroit is a city falling apart because of corruption -- by Democrats, as this is a one-party town.
It's former mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick is currently in jail because of a wide ranging sex, perjury & conspiracy scandal. Secondly and much more significantly, Monica Conyers happens to be married to John Conyers, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Yes, that a wife turns out to be a crook on the local level doesn't mean that he's one too. But the fact that two Democratic chairman are being investigated by the House Ethics Committee and a third has a wife who's just plead guilty to bribery?
Well, let's just say that it doesn't look too good.
In much the same way that the Democrats vow to "clean House" after what the GOP did hasn't reaped much results over the last couple of years.