Today we ponder the sad fact of how POWER corrupts, and Washington DC power seems to do it more quickly than any other kind.
Once upon a time there was a young soldier serving in an artillery battery in the first year of the Korean War. When the Chinese Communist Red Army attacked across the frozen Yalu River and overran American and ROK positions the 503rd was also overrun. Assuming a leadership role above his rank, young PFC Rangel led forty men of his unit for three days as they moved south behind the enemy lines back to link up with the American lines. Rangel had been wounded in the initial encirclement, – making this feat all the more remarkable. He was a true American hero.
Rangel went to college after the Army, and soon got into politics. In 1970 he ran for Congress from the 15th District in New Your City against the legendary Civil Rights Activist and 25-year veteran Congressman – the flamboyant Adam Clayton Powell Jr. And he won! The 15th District you should know is just 10 square miles heavily Black and Hispanic, – the smallest congressional district in the land.
Rangel displayed a certain flamboyance which in time equaled or even surpassed Powell’s. He was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. In time his seniority landed him as Chairman of one of the House’s most important and influential committees, – Ways and Means. These are the folks who write our nation’s tax laws. So you’d sorta think a guy who has been doing that job for 39 years would have a clear understanding of our tax laws. You’d think?
So now as one of the most senior and highly visible black members of Congress, Charlie hangs like a dead albatross around Nancy Pelosi’s neck. You remember Nancy – the Speaker of the House who took office promising to “clean up the mess”. As Republicans keep shoving Rangel under her nose, – the Dems keep defeating their moves, – essentially voting to keep Charlie in his power position “until the ethics committee has completed it’s work“. Right! Let ’em finish.
Charlie is 79 years old. You’d think he could take a back seat for awhile, maybe give up his chairmanship “for the team”. I don’t see that happening. Once a true hero, – now just another congressional thief – like Barney Frank, John Murtha, Maxine Waters, Nancy Pelosi, Henry Waxman, Steny Hoyer, John Conyers, and Sheila Jackson-Lee.
Do you think that sometime before he dies Charlie will tell us why he went astray, – and for what amounts to chicken feed? He’s not the only war-hero / Congressman to do so. Randy “Duke” Cunningham sits in a federal prison in Tucson serving 8 years for taking bribes. So sad.
/s/ Iron Mike
Old Soldier, – Still Good for Parts!