A Democrat on Rangel

by John Derbyshire

Michael Godwin, writing about Charlie Rangel in America’s Newspaper of Record this morning:

The burning question for most Americans was not whether Rangel should have been censured or reprimanded. It was whether he could be expelled and prosecuted.

“If it were me or you” was the common sentiment among callers on C-SPAN as they waited for the vote counting. Ordinary people smell a double standard from a 1,000 miles away, and they simply can’t understand how Rangel could not pay all his taxes for 17 years and still be a free man. I’m with them. Where are the prosecutors?

The argument that Rangel’s long service in Congress should earn him leniency perfectly illustrates the gap between Washington and America. Outside of the Beltway, his 40 years in the House are not seen as a badge of honor. They are seen as self-evident proof that power corrupts, and that 40 years in Washington corrupts absolutely.

In respect of Michael Godwin, I’m going to let the phrase “my kind of Democrat” out of its cage for a quick run round the yard. And former terrorist shill Rep. Peter King, who spoke up for leniency, confirms my conviction that he was never my kind of Republican.

Not that Godwin hits the nail precisely on the head. “Expelled and prosecuted”? No, Sir: Rangel should be dragged through the streets of New York City on a hurdle, then hanged, drawn and quartered in Times Square for the satisfaction of cheering multitudes. Let’s do things properly for once.

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