Don’t bet on it. The Republicans have a two pronged approach to dealing with the Manhattan Congressman’s admitted bookkeeping lapses. On the one hand, they would revel in the chaos that would follow if they were successful in forcing him out as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. At the same time, they’d like nothing better than to use Congressman Rangel as a symbol or litmus test in next year’s congressional elections.
Neither will work. They’ve already tried to pass a resolution calling on Rangel to step down.
It failed miserably. Now, one of the congressmen leading the GOP jihad, John Carter of Texas, has had to admit to failing to disclose nearly $300,000 in profits from oil stock sales in 2006-2007.
While some might look at this as the height of hypocrisy, Carter and his friends in the House say they’ll press on trying to push Charles Rangel out as chair of Ways and Means.
As is typical when the pot calls the kettle black, Republicans try to differentiate between Carter’s failure to disclose and Rangel’s.
It doesn’t hold water, and they know it. But they press on, because in the end they have little else to run on next year but the twin fears of Charlie Rangel and Barack Obama. Now be honest. Other than the nonsensical effort to insert health insurance co-ops in place of a public option, what new ideas have you heard from Congressional Republicans?
The answer is few if any. In fact, Charles Rangel has introduced and helped pass more legislation important to the American people than all his detractors combined.
He has admitted to sloppy record keeping. It was Charles Rangel who asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate him, and it was Charles Rangel’s forensic accountants that found the tax and disclosure discrepancies in the first place.
So let John Boehner and John Carter do their worst. Charles Rangel has a distinguished history of service to his country (as a US marine) and his congressional district (take a walk through Harlem if you don’t believe me).
The Ways and Means Committee is one of the most powerful in Congress. That’s why they’re trying to take Charlie Rangel down.
Expressions of support, now a whisper, will turn into a deafening roar. Republicans will have to come up with more than just nit-picking to explain their own ethical problems. And in the end, no matter what you think of the dean of New York’s congressional delegation, he’ll prevail.
That’s what I think. How about you?