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The Other Side of the Tracks blog by Word Press

No Room for Mistakes

The Other Side of the Tracks: A Socially Speaking commentary

September 28, 2010

By Perry Redd

What the hell was he thinking?  It doesn’t matter because the premise of double-standard is a mainstay in the American socio-political psyche.  U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) said Tuesday he is “deeply sorry” for having “disappointed some supporters” regarding his relationship with a female “social acquaintance.”  Sorry amounts to nothing when the political stakes are at their highest.  This political season is proving to be the most volatile and vicious in decades—and the Republicans smell fresh meat!

But the congressman vowed to stay in office in the wake of a Chicago Sun-Times report that a major political fund-raiser has told federal authorities that Jackson directed him to offer former Gov. Rod Blagojevich millions of dollars in campaign cash in return for an appointment for Jackson to the U.S. Senate, to succeed President Obama in 2008.

Then news sources said that a Chicago businessman also told authorities that Jackson asked him to pay to fly a Washington, D.C., restaurant hostess named Giovana Huidobro — described as a “social acquaintance” of the Democratic congressman — to Chicago to visit him. The guy apparently did it twice, according to the sources.  Jackson didn’t address the guy’s allegation involving payment for those flights, which could raise ethical questions under the U.S. House of Representatives’ gift ban act.  This didn’t happen yesterday…Why do you think this came out now?  Because the Republicans play for keeps!  They don’t play fair…they are the party of double standards!

Yes, I’m highly disappointed, but it’s more than disappointment. It’s the stupidity of risking all you’ve worked for (and yes, I know about that!) and more importantly, the balance of power in the U.S. Congress!  With the Tea Party gaining the ear of more and more Americans, they’re becoming more chameleon-like as November approaches.  Their candidates are acting more like moderates the closer we get to election day, when they were previously cold-hearted extremists eating their primary challengers. The Republicans are playing to win.  Now comes their “Fire Pelosi” bus tour headed by the black Republican figurehead, Michael Steele…and they don’t even like him!  These people are out for blood.

Sure, white politicians have done the same thing—Mark Foley (R-Fla.), David Vitter (R-La.), John Ensign (R-Nev.), toe-tappin’ Larry Craig (R-Ida.), South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, and let’s not forget Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC)—but blacks have absolutely no room for error; right now, the Democrats definitely have no room for error.  What was he thinking?

The ethics probes taking place in Congress are shady, at best, underhanded, at worst.  But they are what they are.  Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are scrambling because they’re fools.  Just because white people do it, doesn’t mean that you can too.  They always stand behind their own…eventually.  These probes are the residual of a political coup by the Republicans.  The Democrats act like they don’t know how to play politics.  Speaker Nancy Pelosi aside, the rank & file act as amateurs.  I had a tête-à-tête with an aide of Assistant U.S. Attorney General, Thomas A. Perez after I dressed him down for not doing enough to help homeowners.  I also let him know that this is why the Obama Administration has lost political capital—that a little bit is not good enough.  White Republicans believe that this country is theirs!  They will play up ALL of your indiscretions while diminishing their own.  Right or wrong, it is what it is.  There is no room for mistakes.

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