The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is a monolithic group with virtually identical voting records, disgusting behavior and a complete disregard for their oaths of office. They lack the knowledge, principle and integrity to hold their high positions, but unfortunately, there they are: All of them, but one, Poster boys for term limits. Let's look here at just one more. We’ve already reviewed Maxine Waters, Charlie Rangel (a co-founder of the CBC), James Clyburn, John Conyers and Hank Johnson.
Congressman Alcee Lamar Hastings, born September 5, 1936, represents Florida's 23rd congressional district, a post he has held since 1993. He spent ten years as a federal judge (1979-1989), but was (oh, my!) impeached and removed from office for corruption and perjury--making him a perfect candidate for Congress and the CBC. He was only the sixth federal judge in American history to be impeached and removed from office. (For more details, see Alcee Hastings in Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia).
Students of Congress probably think that a bribe-taker who sullied his high office like that would fit right in as one of “the worst of a bad lot.” But how does one of such low reputation get elected over and over again? He has had some reputable opposition but they couldn’t come close. And that, of course, is the point of this blog: Entrenched politicians have such power and money derived from their offices that challengers have little chance of unseating them. Part of the reason that blacks like Hastings can be elected and stay in office indefinitely almost no matter what they do is the federal mandate that districts be established with majority black populations. Blacks vote overwhelmingly for Democrats so no Republican need apply. Many Republicans also favor this racial districting because it then concentrates more of their likely voters in their own districts. Politics has become a slimy, self-serving business. They don't call D.C. the District of Corruption for nothing.
In September 2008, Alcee made controversial statements on vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, saying: "Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don't care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks." He made the comment at a panel discussion sponsored by the National Jewish Democratic Council. He talks a lot about "civil rights" but nobody ever thought he was civil.
The Congressional Black Caucus is, by definition, racist. Yet this is generally overlooked by Congress as a whole. A notable exception was Oklahoma congressman J.C. Watts who famously called the group, “race hustling poverty pimps.” Because he voted as a conservative, they labeled Rep. Watts an “Uncle Tom.”
Because Democrat party policy is to chose chairmanships by seniority rather than by competent experience in the committee subject some of the worst of a bad lot are in powerful positions and cause more harm than good. The gerrymandered districts insure reelection of the black pol in predominant black district thus guaranteeing seniority eventually. Republicans have term limits on chairmanships.
The Criminal Caucus
Hastings is not the only CBC member tainted by scandal as we’ve seen in previous posters.
There’s the case of another bribe-taker, nine-term Rep. William “Cold Cash” Jefferson. The FBI found $90,000 in cash in his home freezer in 2005, yet he was reelected in 2006. He is currently residing in other federal facilities as a result of his eventual conviction. That is one of the few ways congressmen have been term-limited.
At one point in the 111th Congress in 2008 eight lawmakers were under formal investigation by the House ethics committee, including Rangel and Waters. All eight of them were CBC members.
Membership in the Caucus is limited to black legislators –they don’t say it but if you’re a Republican or a black conservative, don’t bother. Just ask Gary Franks who was the first Republican member. He was Chairman of the Republican Party Task Force on Civil Rights that produced the 1991 Civil Rights Bill which passed by the largest plurality of any past Civil Rights Bill. And he was a supporter of Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court. He played a significant role in passing the Welfare Reform Act in 1995 that gave a new life to so many who were stuck on welfare. Yet he was much maligned by the Black Caucus.
Will recently elected conservative Republican Mia Love be welcomed in the Black Caucus?
It is a rare member of the Caucus who is not reelected with little or no opposition. Of course, that is also true, although to a lesser degree, of the the Congress as a whole. From its history we can conclude that the CBC is not so much a “Black” caucus as it is a Liberal Caucus --and a far left one at that. It routinely plays the “race card” to pursue its welfare state goals which are closely tied to the member’s reelection campaigns. By promising their constituents freebies from the government they are overwhelmingly retained.
The Caucus opposes education reform such as school vouchers or teacher tenure rules which keep bad teachers in the classrooms especially in minority schools. It favors ever higher minimum wage laws that have the effect of preventing the poorly educated from getting their first job; black youth unemployment is around 50%! Since blacks on average have shorter life spans they receive a lower return on their Social Security payroll taxes. Yet, the CBC opposes Social Security reform such as privatization which would give their constituents ownership of their pension accounts and a chance to build an estate. This practice is often referred to as “keeping them on the Liberal Plantation.”
We started with Alcee Hastings so let’s complete this poster by recognizing his time at the public trough. Like most of the other poster children, he spent the bulk of his life on government payrolls after getting a law degree. He's been sued for sexual harassment and has raised concerns about how he spent overseas travel funds. In 2012, Judicial Watch ranked Hastings as being the largest practitioner of nepotism employing his girlfriend --to the tune of over $600,000!--on his congressional staff.
No surprise that the non-partisan National Taxpayers Union has rated Hastings “F” for every year in Congress which earns him the appellation “Big Spender.” His long tenure helps explain our $17+trillion national debt. The Club for Growth gives him a score of “4” out of 100 which means he routinely votes against programs that promote growth in the economy. Specifically, he votes against trade, reform of Social Security, regulation reform, school vouchers, lower marginal tax rates and limiting spending.
Last week Alcee whined about his low pay and at a committee hearing he insisted he should be paid more. $175,000/yr, a huge pension plus all kinds of perks and God knows what else he scrounges on the job just isn't a fair wage for a man of his accomplishments --in his humble opinion.
So there you have it: Alcee Hastings and the Congressional Black Caucus. Another strong argument to term limit Congress. Sign the petition: http://www.termlimits.org/