Saturday, July 31, 2010

Elitism Roundup: Maxine Waters, Charlie Rangel, and the Chelsea Clinton Wedding

Michelle Malkin charges that there's a culture of corruption at the apex of American power in Washington D.C. -and who could disagree? As news headlines flash on my screen while I work today, I can't help but feel like this quiet, sunny Saturday bears deep historic significance and omens for the future of our nation.

Today American families worried about their futures, tens of thousands of people searched desperately in vain for work, and those of us who are fortunate enough to have work, did it quietly and thankfully, or humbly enjoyed some rest from their work on their Saturday off.

Meanwhile corruption charges mount against powerful, privileged, and wealthy elites on Capitol Hill; Charles Rangel and Maxine Waters, the politicians that face those charges, behave with indifference and brazen contempt; and a former U.S. President and sitting Secretary of State lavish millions of dollars on their daughter, Chelsea Clinton's wedding.

The difference between America and Washington could not be more stark. Today while honest, hard-working Americans either struggled desperately or gratefully managed to avoid the spreading economic ruin, dishonest and privileged Washington elites like Maxine Waters and Charles Rangel sneered at their corruption charges while others celebrated and had their fill at the Chelsea Clinton wedding.

Congressman Rangel's situation is so bad that even Mr. Obama has finally thrown him under the bus, telling CBS News that it's time for Rangel to end his career "with dignity." But nothing is dignified about swindling a nation. And what does Rangel stand to lose for his ethics violations?

Nothing. The New York Post is reporting that a House ethics subcommittee has recommended that Rangel be reprimanded, which is the least severe punishment he could face. When Americans break laws, we pay for them. When Washington elites like Charles Rangel and Maxine Waters break laws- they get away with it.

If you need any more proof that the Washington elite don't have to face the consequences of their actions, observe that amid this ethics investigation, Charles Rangel has even had the audacity to plan a lavish birthday bash (M) at The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan next month, with $200, $500, $1,000, and $2,500 tickets to raise money for his re-election to Congress this November.

And as if it couldn't get more embarrassing for Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who claimed that hers would be the "most ethical Congress in history," yet another powerful, senior member of Congress has become embroiled (M) in an ethics scandal of her own- Representative Maxine Waters of California:

"A House ethics subcommittee has charged Ms. Waters, 71, a 10-term congresswoman, in a case involving communications that she had with the top executive of a bank that her husband owned stock in while it was applying for a federal bailout in 2008, two House officials said."

And those Washington elites who weren't swatting away ethics charges this weekend were enjoying the millions of dollars lavished on the expensive Chelsea Clinton wedding. An eloquent reminder of Washington hypocrisy is that Hillary Clinton, a social-justice Methodist who claims to represent the interests of the working class poor, has a daughter walking around with an engagement ring estimated to be worth a million dollars on her left hand.

Any middle class or poor American who still wants to believe that self-described progressives like the Clintons actually care about the rest of our living conditions needs only to sit back on this quiet Saturday afternoon and observe what is happening in Washington D.C. and New York State. There is a culture of corruption at the top, and there are two Americas- one for the Washington elite and one for the rest of us.