March 3, 2010
There are new ethical standards in Washington. Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will not call for House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel to step down after the House Ethics Committee admonished him for taking trips paid for by outside interests. Pelosi said Rangel didn't know that the trip violated ethics rules. Sure. Anyone who believes that will believe anything about our great public servants.
It was Pelosi who railed against the Bush administration for alleged and actual ethical violations. In 1997, she promised to "create the most honest, most open and most ethical congress in history." We're still waiting.
Rangel isn't out of the woods. There are several other investigations into special treatment for a rent-controlled apartment in Harlem he used as an office, special deals involving a car and numerous other potential violations of House standards.
Charlie Rangel, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are just three reasons why there should be term limits. Voters will have a chance to limit their terms in November. And they should.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.