This is the latest in a series on the use of the race card for political gain:
New York Congressman Charles Rangel was found guilty by a House Ethics panel on 11 0f 13 ethics charges, including submitting false and incomplete financial statements, and violating the Internal Revenue Code.
Congressman John Lewis gave a speech on behalf of Rangel. Lewis prefaced his comments with the limitation that Lewis did not know anything about the facts of Rangel’s conduct. Lewis nonetheless defended Rangel based in part on Rangel’s actions in marching in the civil rights movement in the 1960s:
People who marched in the civil rights movement in difficult circumstances in the 1960s deserve credit for that action, but it is not an excuse for chicanery or ethics violations several decades later.
Juan Williams, while guest-hosting The O’Reilly Factor last night, argued that Lewis unnecessarily injected race into the debate:
Lewis certainly was seeking to invoke civil rights era actions by Rangel as a “Get Out of Jail Free” card for events completely unrelated. We have seen this time and again with Jesse Jackson.
But was this the “race card”? I guess it depends upon what the meaning of “race card” is.
While we don’t know the impact of Lewis’ comments, Rangel certainly did get off easy, with a censure and a requirement that he make “restitution.”
Which I guess means Rangel needs to pay back taxes. He can get the form from Tim Geithner.