Saturday, January 3, 2009

Blago/Rangel Does Not Equal 1 - Why?

I ask this as a serious question - and not an inflammatory one. In today's NYT, they report that Rangel basically tried to shake down AIG. And very much like Gov. Blago, it appears no money changed hands and no deals were made. But one was caught on tape by the FBI, is under indictment, and widely viewed in the media as the symbol for what's wrong with American politics.

Rangel, on the other hand, has been caught doing all sorts of sketchy things this year like pursuing creative real estate deals, getting awesome parking spaces, and not paying taxes. So while the Chicago Tribune as asked for the Governor to quit, the NYT has merely asked Rangel to step down as Chairman of his Committee despite being accused of doing a wider range of bad stuff.

More generally, I wonder where we draw the line between Rangel's "negotiations" with AIG and Blago's not-so-subtle bargain pricing (apparently he should have asked for 6.2 million) of a Senate seat. How different are they? I'm honestly wondering y'alls views on this point.

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