The Race Card used to be the last resort of those who had no other argument to make. Then it became the only argument you had to make. And now, it's such a weak, reflexive habit that no one actually cares anymore when the idea of America-as-racist-society is tossed into out as a defense...for anything.
The Race Card got O.J. acquitted. The Race Card has been used to justify the greatest wastes of taxpayer dollars imaginable. It has been used to create a system of extra-constitutional rights for African-Americans -- making them almost a federally-protected species --under the guise of Equality. Race has been used as a wedge issue, pitting American against American for as long as anyone can remember. We're jaded; we've heard"racist" shouted from every rooftop, in every New York Times Op-Ed, Al Sharpton uses the word like punctuation, and we don't really care anymore. The very word "Racist" rings hollow; it's been used like a $5 whore...and now the old trollop is starting to show her age.
Congressman Rangel, it must be said, has yet to be charged or convicted of any crime, but judging from the way these things seem to go he can look forward to a very long, very expensive fight to"get his name back"... before he's ultimately convicted of a politically-orchestrated anti-climax. I personally believe he's as guilty as sin of what he's been accused of. I rather doubt anyone will bring serious criminal charges against him (the democrats will never allow that to happen), because politically, it's enough that he just lose his office.
He can then go through the ordeal that democrats put Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay through, if he's lucky.
Gingrich was charged with 84 ethics violations. He was found guilty, by Congress, on exactly ONE of those charges, and that one was referred to the IRS for adjudication. A few YEARS later, the IRS decided that Gingrich was innocent, after all. But the damage had been done, and Newt lost his office, and position as Speaker of the House. That was the point of the whole exercise: the get him out of office.
Tom DeLay was called the sleaziest man in politics by none other than Hillary Clinton, who is America's foremost expert on sleaze, certainly. Democrats had been after DeLay for nearly a decade before Jack Abramoff came along and the Republican Congress was torpedoed by charges of graft and corruption (Nancy Pelosi's infamous "I'll drain the swamp" moment). De Lay was caught up in it all, too, and the "investigation" begun back in 2004/5 finally ended....yesterday. Guess what? DeLay was innocent of all those charges, too.
I'm not saying that Gingrich and DeLay were saints; just that their persecutions were politically- motivated, and went forward without any evidence of actual wrongdoing (although in DeLay's case, let's admit the man walked a very fine line on just about everything). Now Charlie Rangel can look forward to several years of legal expenses and having that's left of his reputation dragged through the mud that he's so-helpfully (but self-destructively) slinging himself.
The only difference between these cases is that Charlie, probably, really is guilty. Crying "Racism!" where there is none is a pretty good indication that Charlie Rangel knows that he can't win on the merits, but hopes to inflame passions in his defense instead.
Sorry Charlie -- this isn't the 60's anymore, and that kind of thing doesn't work.