The president’s willingness to push others under the bus could be an expression of his personal beliefs, or it could be in part a reaction to the perception that George W. Bush was hurt by his unwillingness to do so until he had already suffered politically. In any case, Charles Rangel is the latest target for a White House push — they have to understand that this doesn’t go over well with the Congressional Black Caucus, where Rangel is an institution, but they don’t appear to care.
One member of the Congressional Black Caucus, also speaking on condition of anonymity, expressed bitterness that the president would turn publicly on Rangel, a decorated Korean War combat veteran.
“Charlie Rangel has served our nation with honor and distinction for more than four decades — before I was born and the president was a twinkle in his parents’ eye,” the CBC member said of a career in public service dating to Rangel’s days in the Army.
“He should be treated with honor and respect,” the member said, referring to Rangel’s work promoting equal rights for African Americans. “In fact, Mr. Rangel made my service in Congress and Mr. Obama’s presidency possible.”
The two other scandal news items of note (they come in three dozens, not threes) concerns Maxine Waters, who like Rangel is choosing the option of an open ethics trial in the House — a real rarity in Congress — on her own allegations of wrongdoing. These bear watching: we know how Republican scandals played into the 2006 races.
The other is good news, for Democrats at least: Al Gore’s case will not be pursued, citing the original lack of evidence. Gore will be back before you notice he was gone.
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