June 4, 2006
House of Horrors II: Charlie Rangel
Posted by Dave Blount at June 4, 2006 11:20 PM
The specter of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is only one of many reasons to see to it that Republicans hold onto the House of Representatives in November. Another of the more compelling ones is the fact that Charles Rangel of New York's 15th Congressional District is in line for the extremely powerful position of Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
Rangel's most impressive attribute is his gift for irresponsible demagoguery. He has gotten so carried away as to compare President Bush with Bull Connor, the Birmingham Chief of Police who came to personify anti-black racism way back when civil rights activists were actually interested in civil rights, as opposed to special privileges. If Bush has ever said or done anything racist in his life, I'm sure we would know about it.
Often behaving more like a sophomoric "activist" of the Al Sharpton/Cindy Sheehan variety than an elected politician, Rangel has made an embarrassing habit of deliberately getting himself arrested at protests. But his most famous stunt was his sponsorship of a bill to reinstate the draft. Rangel knew the bill would go nowhere, since the Defense Department has seen no need for a military draft in recent times. The point was to provide himself with a soapbox from which to spout class warfare rhetoric and oppose the war on terror.
Like many on the left, Rangel exhibits an appalling cynicism toward the principles most Americans hold dear. He sneered at the historic elections that have been held in Iraq, dismissing the entire war as a "fraud" and barking that Americans "don't want their children to die for other people's freedom." Of course, if Americans didn't die for other people's freedom, as when we fought to liberate Europe from Nazis, by now we would be boxed in a corner and lucky to have any freedom ourselves.
Cynical, irresponsible, given to indulging in corrosive class warfare foolishness, and so immature as to be impervious to rational argument, Charles Rangel is possibly the last elected official in the country we would want in the critical position of overseeing how Congress spends our money. Yet that's exactly the sad fate that awaits us if Democrats retake the House this fall.