Ethically Speaking

In Uncategorized on August 17, 2010 at 8:15 am

They are institutions in their own right. Representative Charles Rangel (D) of New York and Representative Maxine Waters (D) of California are fighting back against an institution. It is almost as if two battering rams are going toe-to-toe, not a one budging. Both mainstays in the House are facing ethics charges. According to Linda Feldmann of the Christian Science Monitor “The two cases, involving African-American members of Congress, have fueled charges that they were targeted because of their race. Waters herself has raised the allegation…The cases couldn’t come at a worse time for the Democrats, who are fighting to maintain their control of Congress in the Nov. 2 midterm elections. The image of two of their own mounting a vigorous public defense of themselves keeps alive the ‘culture of corruption’ story line that Republicans are gleefully using in the campaign.”

For Perry Bacon, Jr. of the Washington Post, it is the defense against the ethics charges that have raised eyebrows. “While Rangel’s speech was unorthodox, Waters’s performance went further. Most members of Congress, including Rangel, rarely discuss the details of their ethics controversies, deferring to attorneys. But in an unusual news conference in the Capitol that lasted more than an hour, Waters answered a series of questions about her alleged role in securing millions of dollars for a bank in which her husband was a major investor.”

We may not know the true effects of these charges until November–whether or not voters will lash out against the machine–a rage if you will. The mid-term elections usually are an offseason also-ran, but for now, the stage is being set for a rather interesting performance.

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