In a last ditch attempt to save face it's reported Charlie Rangel agreed to a last-minute plea deal which will probably go nowhere, nor should it. I'd like to think Congress doesn't even need an ethics committee, but of course they do. It is one arena where partisanship cannot be claimed. Both sides err. Even the likes of John McCain faced accusations during the Keating five investigation.
What irritates me is the contempt shown to we, the people, who elect them, put our trust in them. I am especially irritated by a man like Rangel who has been in Congress for 40 years! I'd think he'd have the 'can' and 'cannot dos' down by this time! But no. And when caught he drags his feet for two years all because he's worried that his legacy and career may end on a "tarnished note". Well, it should if he's indeed found guilty. And since he's been dragging it out I'd cautiously assume he will be.
Another thing that irritates me, my I am irritable these days, is the plea deal ploy. That's like trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear! Why should he even be allowed? After thirteen, thirteen violations! He even gets to choose which violations he will accept!
I have absolutely no sympathy for members of Congress who get themselves into these pickles. To blame their accountants or even their wives is nonsense. I had to laugh when Rangel chided young Luke Russert last week about showing him a lack of respect. I'd say the one with the lack of respect is Rangel toward his constituents and the public in general.
He should step down. He won't. Fortunately the ethics panel is made up of an even number of Democrats and Republicans so the Democrats can't bail him out. It's probably naive on my part to think if the evidence against him was truly shaky, he'd not be in the position he finds himself and even numbers wouldn't matter. Heck, he wouldn't be in this position in the first place.
His legacy? Tarnished? He should have thought about that before he decided to shine up to the wrong side of ethics.