The Troubles of Charlie Rangel
By Thought Merchant
Harlem Congressman Charlie Rangel currently chairs the House Ways and Means committee which makes him a steward of the nations income tax policy in that branch of Congress. Rep. Rangel is now himself being investigated for income tax improprieties, putting his chairmanship of that most powerful committee in jeopardy.
Not surprisingly, the right wing has been making strong attacks against Rangel in an effort to use him as the poster child for Democratic Party hypocrisy considering that Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi became Speaker assuring Americans she would “drain the swamp” and clean up ethics violations.
But as stated in this piece in Salon.com: “…when you look at how long Tom DeLay and all the Abramoff-tainted Republicans took to face reality, the clock has barely started ticking on Rangel.”
Furthermore, Rangel is still being supported by many of his traditional allies on the left as explained here:
“The Congressional Black Caucus, of which Rangel was a founding member, sent a letter to Pelosi on Thursday blasting the vote as “partisan attempts to ignore the well-established, bipartisan congressional ethics process.”
“Regrettably, the minority has repeatedly attempted to make an end-run around the bipartisan procedures for investigating possible ethics issues,” the letter read. “These Republican attempts to presume guilt before an investigation has been completed violate the core American principle of the presumption of innocence.”
Rangel’s office condemned the measure as a “highly partisan effort.”
What is more interesting is how some of the more prominent voices from the left wing blogoshphere have been willing to throw Rangel under the bus and demand he resign from Chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee.
Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post stated the following in her recent Blog post: “Congress’ approval rating is at 21 percent, a 10-point drop over the last month. If the Democrats want to see it hit single digits, by all means, keep Charlie Rangel as Chairman.”
Some see it fit to compare Charlie Rangel to another African American Congressman, William Jefferson, whose ethics problems were criminal in nature, while Rangel himself has been found to have done nothing illegal thus far, insinuating that there is a problem with “those types” of Congressmen. “Those types” of course meaning Black.
As Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas put it on his blog’s diary:
“Memo to House Democrats — the “culture of corruption” crosses partisan lines. Last time the Democrats looked the other way — with William Jefferson — Republicans picked up a seat in one of the most Democratic districts in the nation. Next time, they may pick up the entire U.S. House of Representatives.”
As of yet, no ethics violations have been adjudicated and no criminal misdeeds have yet come close to being alleged. Yet it is ironic to me how White liberals who always claim to stand by African Americans as true friends are now willing to stand on top of Charlie Rangel as he’s being raked over the coals by the right wing and some of their own ilk.
Let us be fair and withhold judgment until all investigations are complete instead of joining in on the right wing pile on. Truly, with liberal friends like these, does a Democratic politician really need enemies?