Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Good Time Charlie Chapter Eleven

784 Good Time Charlie Chapter Eleven -- Carry it On

Take the punch, Charlie, you're tougher and smarter than the rest of them. Then, get up and Carry It On.

This is the eleventh time since 2006 that Rep. Charles Rangel has been a featured player in this space, thus chapter eleven, and the fifth time this year. He is 80 years old. He is a congressman from Harlem, New York City. He has an ethics problem which is not nearly as big as his political problem. He has been "convicted" in a Kongressional Kangaroo Kourt of some minor stuff that his foes are likening to the Crime of the Century. The political problem is not with the people who keep electing him every two years. The political problem is with the cowardly Democrats who won't stand up for him, the even more cowardly Republicans who want his powerful self out of the way and the closeted racists of both parties who think bringing down accomplished black men and women is sport.

You think he's going to resign? Don't bet on it. The "punishment" will be announced soon. It'll be something like --well-- Chapter Eleven.

If you read or listen to this space regularly, you've heard all the stuff about how people in the neighborhood practically strew rose petals in his path when he visits, which, as it should be, is often.

The next step is for the subcommittee of Kangaroos to send their "findings" to the full Ethics Committee, which will, of course, go along with most, if not all of the subcommittee conclusions. Then, the same body of Congress that found Bill Clinton impeachable for cheating on his wife, will find Rangel guilty, and will put a nasty letter in his personnel file, fine him and/or censure him.

What should be his response? Channeling Charlie you might hear something like "I'm 80 years old. I'm not going anywhere. You want to give me a lousy recommendation for my next job? WHAT next job?!"

A congressman who finagles finances? To quote Captain Renault in the movie "Casablanca," "I'm shocked, shocked!" What has Rep. Rangel done for the people of Harlem? Go up to the Grant Houses at 125th and Broadway and ask around. What has he done for all Americans, other than being a war hero and that rise-by-pulling-up-your-own-bootstraps thing? How about early and vigorous support for Israel? How about his battles as chairman of Ways and Means with the miserly Reagan and Bush social agendas? How about tax law changes that benefited Americans below the billionaire line? How about anti-apartheid activism? Or his opposition to Bush and Cheney's idiot war in Iraq?

Has he lined his own pockets at your expense? No, not really. Did he do "no wrong?" Of course not. He DID wrong. But if you had done the same wrong, they wouldn't be after you. They picked on Rangel the same way they picked on the nasty but undeserving Martha Stewart. But unlike Martha, this is a guy you'd kill to have in your corner.

Carry it on!

A slightly earlier version of this appeared on High Heels Hot Flashes.

I'm Wes Richards (an old white guy.) My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010

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