Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Rangel...and the time for a third party

On a day when the Governor of Illinois has been arrested for allegedly attempting to sell Obama’s Senate seat, I would like to shed some light on another corrupt individual. Charlie Rangel is the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and he has been up to some rather shady dealings. Here is a list as reported by TIME magazine (hardly a member of the vast right wing conspiracy):

Recently paid his son $80,000 in campaign funds "for a pair of political websites so poorly designed an expert estimated one should have cost no more than $100 to create."

He claims to simultaneously occupy 4 rent controlled apartments in Manhattan, paying less than half of the going market for rent in each

While doing this, he also claimed homestead exemption for a house that he owns in Washington DC

Failed to report $75,000 of rental income to the IRS for a villa that he owns in the Dominican Republic

According to the New York Times (also not part of the vast right wing conspiracy), he was “instrumental” in preserving a tax loophole for an oil company whose CEO contributed $1 million to a school in NYC bearing Rangel’s name and supported by Rangel

All of this is going on while Rangel continues to serve as chairman of the committee that writes our tax codes and is responsible for funding the nation’s entitlement programs. The NYT has asked Rangel to step down from that position while his ethics investigation is ongoing. Rangel has refused and claims no wrongdoing, and has even written a scathing letter denouncing the Time’s irresponsible reporting, thus giving credence to the notion that the corrupt are not sorry for their transgressions as much as they are sorry for getting caught in the process.

Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker who hasn’t hesitated to use her power to strong arm opponents and exert maximal control of her caucus, has stopped short of chastising Rangel and has yet to take any action on the matter beyond calling for a conclusion prior to Obama’s inauguration. Pelosi is the same person who took office in 2006 promising to “drain the swamp” in Washington with sweeping ethics reform. Also of note: Chris Dodd and Barney Frank have yet to be investigated for their involvement in the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac collapse.

Ethics reform? Give me a break.

So here is what I would like to see. It’s evident that corruption spans both political parties and is so deeply entrenched in Washington and elsewhere that replacing one party with another will get us nowhere. So now is the time for a viable third party. I would like to see a split in the Republican party, with a new group of young conservatives leading the charge in forming a new party separate from the old guard, with a new agenda that maintains American traditionalism while turning away from the old ways that spark kickbacks, palm greasing and the same old DC ways; an agenda that seeks to return power to the people via local government while reducing power in Washington. What was it that someone said about power, corruption and absolute power?

The leader of this movement would find some willing ears among the moderate “blue dog” Democrats who are about to be isolated by Pelosi’s congress and Obama’s spend-happy administration. Recently, Obama hinted that the pay-go rules may be suspended for a while, not something the blue dogs will be eager to support. And these Dem moderates are very much a part of American traditionalism and preserving the things that made America great. The fringe Left has become the dominant force in the Dem party, thus making the blue dogs potential allies for a new party of American traditionalism.

It has become clear that our government is now one of elites, run by a class of people with vast wealth who abuse their office for personal gain with little interest in common Americans, seeking to expand their wealth regardless of the best interest of the country. Often, these people are voted into office by people who seek the same, with campaigns funded by industries with similar motives. A wise man once said the democracy fails when the population realizes they can vote themselves rewards from the treasury. The government should always be of the people, for the people, by the people. Does anyone out there think these words are our current reality? Me neither. Now it’s more like of the elites, for the special interests and the entitled, by those with the means to fund a campaign.

We have a lot of problems to deal with, problems created by government and in many ways magnified by it. Both parties have been in control at one time or another in the past century, so for one to blame the other is ludicrous. For the voters to believe that only one party is at fault is even worse, taking naivety and blind partisanship to a new level.

The two party system has failed because both parties are corrupt and unwilling to serve the people. Power is what they want and there is simply too much of it in Washington. This must change. The balance of power must be in the favor of the people, by local government. The further government is from the people the more corrupt it becomes. In 2010, I want a third option, made of people who serve for the purpose of serving, not for personal gain. This may be idealism at it’s finest, but that’s the only way things will improve in this country and it’s the only way to keep us from complete domestic disaster.



Dr John Washburn,

Sixty Years Of Unchallenged, One-Party Rule in Chicago's Cook County,

Three Hundred Years Of Single-Party Jihad Rule in Mecca, Jeddah, and Riyadh in Wahhabi-Saudi Arabia,

Invites A Rotting Corruption.


All eMail Contact-Lists Must Be Activated Now To Chain-Letter Status.

Alert All Links.

We Urge WEP to join us in this growing noble effort to inform the indifferent & apathetic citizen.

See Dec 7th 'Proclamation'. reb

Auntyem said...

John, you said "And these Dem moderates are very much a part of American traditionalism and preserving the things that made America great. The fringe Left has become the dominant force in the Dem party, thus making the blue dogs potential allies for a new party of American traditionalism".

I had to look up "blue dog democrats" and "American traditionalism". I know about American traditions, but traditional-ism is not clear. (Google led me only to Native American traditionalism). I think it means something different to each person, no?

What does "American traditionalism" mean to you? To me it means nuclear family values, protection of the rights of all (including the unborn and minorities and the elderly) free speech, freedom of choice in religion or freedom from a (state) religion, freedom to be all you can be regardless of class, color, or gender.

When I hear people like Limbaugh and Hannity (who together don't even have one year of college) I'm afraid. They sound like the Taliban, insisting everyone be "conservative" and "Christian" and "patriotic", as if most Americans were not. When I heard Palin refer to "real Americans" or "un-American" I thought she was arrogant and divisive (are the millions of Americans who elected Obama just chopped liver?).

General Powell also thinks those three did the Republican party a disservice, are not qualified to speak for the party, and caused divisiveness by appealing only to the prejudices of a few who even though they partake of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and would scream if those entitlements were taken away, parrot the party line of no taxes, no regulation, etc.

I too would like a third party free of fringe radicals from the left or right. I hate being made to choose between the two we have now. I would like it to be called the Independent party so centrists have a place. What would you call it--the Constitution Party as I see listed on your side bar?

I am just afraid of this country becoming an oligarchy like Mexico or Brazil, where the few at the top have no controls on them in running the economy or financial institutions, where industrial pollution goes unchecked, where there is graft and looting of the treasury, where there is no middle class, only people living in poverty with no recourse from harmful working conditions, no schooling, no chance to get ahead, etc.

Whatever you think made this country great is not working now; it is a global economy, we face a radicalized enemy that doesn't fight fair, family farms have been taken over by subsisidized agri-business and mechanized factories, the rich have lobbyists corrupting officials, and most of the population lives in big cities with crumbling infrastructure.

So what is American traditionalism to you, what do you want to preserve of it? I don't want to go back to the era of robber barons with their castles, yachts, the gilded age. I want a balance; social programs for those in need and for the disabled and elderly who can't work, but not socialism. The New Deal did not lead to socialism, and the American middle class thrived until recently. I don't blame unions or a few social programs. I blame the oligarchs and greedy would-be oligarchs.

Port Orchard, WA

John Washburn said...


Everything you mentioned about American traditions is true. And if you believe in those things then you are indeed a traditionalist. The problem is that you said everything that once made this country great is no longer working. Well, I beg to differ. I say that things are going south because we've strayed from what once made this country great.

After all, how can we support equal rights for all while also enacting affirmative action and hiring quotas? How can we demand equal protection and oppose discrimination, yet have a tax system that discriminates against those who make more money, who achieved success?

You say we should help those in need. I agree. Which is why I oppose government entitlements. These things don't help people, they simply enable their shortcomings and encourage dependence on the government. Never has the government solved anyone's problems, only delayed the misery associated with them. How can you be in favor of that while also advocating for liberty for all? How can someone truly be free when they depend on the government for health care, retirement, education, etc? Liberty only comes when an individual can provide those things for himself. The old adage about teach a man to fish versus give a man a fish comes to mind.

But I think the biggest threat to this country is moral relativism, where absolute right and wrong no longer exists and each person is free to determine for themselves what is right and what is wrong. This will ultimately destroy our society.

You also mentioned a global economy and I also agree, which is why I don't understand the logic behind opposing free trade for the sake of protecting American workers. If we do away with free trade are we not turning our backs on the "global economy"? Despite what you think, the unions played a major role in the current economic suffering that we are feeling, especially in regards to the auto industry.

The contradictions in logic go on and on.

You also spoke against prejudice, and yet exercised your own prejudice against some well-known conservative voices. For the record, I listen to Hannity on a regular basis and I have never heard anything suggesting that he insists on all of us being conservative or Christian. What he wants is for society to respect our right to be conservative or Christian without being labeled intolerant, divisive, hate-mongers or - as you said - akin to the Taliban.

People like Hannity and myself believe in absolute right and wrong. This, by the way, is also traditionalist. Yet when we voice our beliefs we are immediately labeled as intolerant.

So, in a nutshell, you and I pretty much feel the same about American traditions. The difference is you think our traditions have failed us, and I think we have failed our traditions. Naturally, I feel that I'm right and you're wrong.

Don't believe me? Then just imagine what this country would be like if we all adhered to our traditions by: practicing self-restraint,thrift and delayed gratification; maintaining a strong two-parent nuclear family; helping our neighbors when they were in need; voting according to what was best for our country rather than what was best for ourselves; serving one another and our country before we served ourselves; raising our children to respect the property and beliefs of others; putting our children's needs before our own; taking responsibility for our actions rather than assigning blame; fighting for the rights of those who cannot fight for themselves - especially children and the unborn; overcoming the hardships of life even when we weren't given the easiest path, rather than demanding that the easy path be provided; working hard at hard work and working with pride in what we do; and serving God, whomever that may be for you. These are the things that made America great. If we ever get back to them, imagine how things would turn out.

Auntyem said...


You and I share the same values as evidenced by what you said----"practicing self-restraint,thrift and delayed gratification; maintaining a strong two-parent nuclear family;....raising our children to respect the property and beliefs of others; putting our children's needs before our own.....overcoming the hardships of life even when we weren't given the easiest path, rather than demanding that the easy path be provided; working hard at hard work and working with pride in what we do; responsibility for our actions rather than assigning blame".

Those are my parents' values and mine; they did all that, and I have always strived to follow their example. More Americans adhere to these values than do not, otherwise we would have anarchy, etc. Our parents and I and you were blessed with the strenghth of character, mind and body, and opportunity. I find it hard to just throw away that segment of society that haven't ended up in our situation. I don't want to see bread lines and famine and riots and loss of life through lack of needed medical care. That I think is un-American. This is not Darfur or other third-world country. Each of us is only a broken neck or a long battle with cancer, etc. away from that which can drastically change our own circumstances.

You are so young (I think) and you are on top of your game now, but some folks never attained that or had bad luck.... good folks, decent, formerly hard-working folks. Maybe accidents or catastrophic illness laid waste their plans, and find themselves needy, and for them I think a safety net should exist, and should not be denied them because of the abuses of others. Good people that could have been saved lost their lives because they were adults with no insurance, etc.

I know all about the abuses of Medicaid and public welfare, same as Bill Cosby. He started his campaign against such dependency when his daughter came home from school one day asking why they did not have a social worker. Another child had asked her who her social worker was, and the child was incredulous when told by the Cosby girl that her family didn't have a social worker. He realized then that there was a segment of our society that had become too dependent. That problem will take some re-education and changes in the system, and he has devoted his life to it, but it will take time and others doing the same thing to change things. Dependency on the public dole goes from one generation to another, and they live a sub-standard life, abandoned by fathers and left with mothers who can't cope, a cycle hard to break. Because of this they now get public help that others just as needy do not. The situation needs to change, and we can't abandon what programs exist or it will turn into a disaster. Those programs need better regulation, for sure.

People like Bill Cosby and Barack Obama who tell parents to be more responsible, to turn off the TV and video games and spend more time helping their kids with honework, get lambasted by people like the senior Jesse Jackson, who resent their admonitions, because their focus has always been just to attain civil rights, the very reason some people have been able to pull themselves up by their boot straps once the playing field has been leveled.

Obama is the beneficiary, as he says, of the sacrifices made by Jackson and others, but he is fighting that old-line activist mentality that has seen its day. Maybe when those old guys (and Jane Fonda and Bill Ayers) are in the ground, people will realize, hey, there are no more barriers, America is a great country. Surely Obama's election is proof of that. Rev. Wright, as Obama now says, made the mistake of continuing to re-live his own bad experiences on the way up.

Hard line conservatives and liberals have opposing views on how to fix our problems, but those on the right must respect liberals' beliefs and not label them all as "lefties", "libs" socialist, un-American, etc. as Hannity so often does. This country is centrist really, and name calling is so divisive. I know "conservatives" would like to be in charge forever, and the ones to the far right are intolerant of those less fortunate, and those on the far left are too idealistic and also intolerant, but we don't have to fear Obama. He is not a Castro. He will not be influenced by the extreme left anymore than John McCain would have been influenced completely by the extreme right.

Port Orchard, WA