Saturday, September 5, 2009

Pelosi leadership course: punt

by Smitty (h/t Huffer)

Politico explores the Wicked Witch of the West's non-command of leadership. The vacuum of the day is Charlie "Tax Laws are for the Wee Folk" Rangel. Summarizing and paraphrasing, leadership in his case would entail:
  • Stripping [him] of his chairmanship of...Ways and Means...would force Pelosi to make a series of unpalatable decisions about Rangel’s successor.
  • Those decisions would create a ruckus in the Democratic caucus.
  • They would infuriate the Congressional Black Caucus...still sore over Pelosi's decision to strip committees from former Louisiana Rep. Bill Jefferson.
  • Distract from the task of ignoring the Constitution to wage the health care battle.
  • Require Nancy actually to talk to Charlie about the several hundred large (k$) that accidentally didn't get reported to the IRS..
Read this Politico quote slowly, so that the laughter doesn't trigger a seizure when it hits:
Rangel's troubles, coupled with the equally embarrassing ethics problems of another Pelosi-allied Old Bull, Rep. Jack Murtha (D-Penn.), could damage the Democratic brand in the midterms.
Politico discusses the pack of winners from among whom Pelosi would choose a successor. How baked this country truly is. Then there is this unintentionally funny bit:
The ethics panel has already spent a year peering into Rangel's use of several rent-stabilized apartments in a luxury Harlem apartment complex, his failure to pay all taxes on a Dominican Republic vacation villa, and his use of Congressional letterhead to raise funds for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College in New York City.
Probably apocryphal paragraph found commented out in the HTML of the article:
Peering into Rangel's usage of these assets involved a studious commitment to wild partying, hookers, booze, and of course, accepting campaign contributions from the subject of the investigation, but the corrupt Mike Foxtrots on the ethics panel had copious experience in these matters, and performed admirably.
Back to the published article:
The committee recently broadened the investigation to include Caribbean trips taken by Rangel and four other lawmakers to determine if they complied with a ban on corporate-funded travel.
That pesky writer who'd been commented out had then elaborated:
Investigators, seeing a hole on the schedule, called up some corporate donors to help fund their own junket, in the name of investigating compliance. They used the clever ploy of asserting the opposite of the truth, i.e. that their junket was testing the *snort* ban on corporate-funded travel *snort* as a means of insulating themselves. Who, short of a Right Wing Extremist Terrorist, would even dare to make a raaaaacist assertion of foul play? Only Republicans do evil things, you know.
So, what should they do, in light of the fact that the House can police itself, per the Constitution, and that there reasonably needs to be a committee with a chair to Get Things Done?

If they screwed up and left me in charge, I'd do two things that would have immediate, profound and positive impact:
  1. Make the chair rotate every six months, in the manner of a good Navy watch.
  2. Make the chair appointments random
Nothing keeps one ethical and above reproach like knowing you haven't got the ball for long, and not knowing who's to follow. Lowering the cash pressure on the committee by returning power to States would also trim the moral hazard.

If "We the People" don't begin to demand no-nonsense reform along these lines from those who purportedly work for us in DC, then our milkshake of liberty will be drunk by another.

For now, we have a sad lack of leadership. This is probably the result of the fact that the overwhelming majority of elected officials are lawyers, and mistake advanced verbal gymnastics for leadership.

WizBang is also covering this.


  1. Not to be racist, except in the generic "I'm a white guy, so therefore I must be a racist" kind of way...

    But why is Pelosic's concern about getting rid of a crook all about the Congressional Black Caucus? Is the black representation in this nation so corrupt that theft (Jefferson), lying (Rangel), tax evasion (Rangel), no longer matter? Is the Detroit phenomenon, that black politicians have the right to shake down their constituents and the rest of the nation (a la Ms. Conyers) now a constitutionally guaranteed right for the non-whites?

    Pelosi's de facto acceptance of this idea is abominable. Maybe she thinks of it as reparations, one politician at a time.

  2. I couldn't agree more with "Croaker Norge's" post. Something very wrong has/is happening to this once great counrty.

  3. just remember, if helps their cause, it's ok. if it helps our cause, we are racist cheats who hate this country. The libs and dems make a scumbag look distinguished.