Thursday, December 4, 2008

Democrats And Rangel Face Tough Opponent

The American people have long yearned for fresh faces in politics and that, ostensibly, has been interpreted to mean veritable rookies, new blood that would bring a whole new perspective to the halls of congress. It is a good concept, but anyone who has followed politics with even a modicum of interest would be quick to realize that such a person would be intimidated in short order. He would be brow-beaten and devoured by the professional denizens of those halls and therefore, corrupted before he even realized it had happened.

Enter "Judge Carter", Rep. John Carter of Texas, who was elected to congress in 2002. Carter served over twenty years on the bench as a Texas district court judge, which is never to be confused with anything resembling a California district court. Carter is about as conservative as they come.

Not only is he a proud conservative, he is completely immune from the "gaga" effect of being new to congress, which means that he is unafraid to confront anyone, including the Speaker, relying instead on pure righteousness as his guide. Couple that with an acute acumen for arguing, and he has all the ingredients required to severely confound the likes of Nancy Pelosi, especially in a contest fought before the scrutiny of the public.

Charlie Rangel, the Democratic chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, has been under fire since July over shady dealings that indicate a betrayal of trust of his position. According to the Washington Post:

He came under fire this week after The New York Times reported that Rangel worked to protect a tax shelter for Nabors Industries, an oil company whose chief executive was pledging $1 million to a school bearing the congressman's name.

The executive, Eugene M. Isenberg, also personally pledged $200,000 to the City College of New York, where the public policy school is named for Rangel. Last year, the company won congressional approval to preserve its tax shelter in the Caribbean, saving Nabors tens of millions of dollars annually and depriving the federal treasury of $1.1 billion in revenues over a decade, according to a Congressional analysis by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation.

Anyone who remembers the Tom Delay railroad job must be scratching their heads about now. Not only is Rangel himself striking a defiant pose, but his comrades in congress are circling the wagons and doing what they can to bury this problem quickly while attempting to save face for the party. Judge Carter is having none of it. He is leading the charge on behalf of the republicans regarding Rangel's ethics problems and challenging Speaker Pelosi in a most direct manner regarding the same.

Connie Hair of Human Events has an excellent article on this subject in which she points out how Carter is demanding answers from the democrats, and how Pelosi is attempting to sweep the matter under the rug before the new congress in January. Carter is brilliant in his cross examination technique:

Speaker Pelosi last week issued a news release stating she had "assurances" that the Rangel investigation would conclude in early January, in spite of growing evidence of wrongdoing by Rangel.

In his letter to Pelosi, Carter said, “I was chagrined to learn that you issued a press release last week announcing that you ‘have been assured’ that the Ethics Committee’s investigation of Rep. Charles Rangel will be concluded by January 3, 2009. As a former member of the Ethics Committee, you are no doubt acutely aware that House rules expressly prohibit Members and staff of the Ethics Committee from discussing any aspect of an ongoing ethics investigation with individuals outside the committee.”

Pelosi explained publicly that those assurances came from her own staff and not from the ethics committee. Again, Carter's counter-punch was deadly. He said, "Indeed, no responsible news organization would have printed your announcement had they understood it reflected nothing more than speculation - or perhaps wishful thinking - by your own staff. Otherwise, the only other plausible purpose for your press release would be to put public pressure on the Ethics Committee to wrap up its work regarding Rep. Rangel before the House approves new committee chairmen for the 111th Congress during the first week of January.”

It seems that we have finally found the potent combination of rookie-with-experience in John Carter, a man who is new to the machinations of the federal government, but certainly not new to the planet, and most assuredly capable of tackling that which most citizens wish tackled; the ethics of DC.

God speed, Judge Carter.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The name would confuse millions of voting democrats. I like it.