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Wrangling Rangel

by on December 7, 2010

Fool NY-15’s voters 20 times: shame on you. Fool them 21 times… Censured Charlie Rangel capped of a humiliatingly busy week by demonstrating his oft-unacknowledged sense of humor when he claimed there was “no evidence of corruption” after he was found to have committed massive corruption.

His amusing take on his own misdeeds apparently explains why he feels entitled to keep acting roguishly. But the taxing and spending specialist has inflicted far more harm in true New York Democratic style during his tenure’s non-crooked portion.

At least he remains obliviously entertaining. For one, his Michael Jackson Defense is so shameless that it would have made the late King of Pop blush through his pale cheeks:

“History would show that a different standard has been used in this case where I did not curse out the Speaker, I did not try to have sex with minors,” he said, referring to past censure cases.

It’s heartwarming to know a bad guy wasn’t doing something worse. But I’m a typical conservative who focuses upon how the congressional mainstay is a corrupt scumbag instead of his history of not sexing up high schoolers. Rangel’s misappropriation is merely the culmination: he promoted bad policy even when he wasn’t enriching himself.

Regardless, the myth persists that Rangel helped his constituents when he wasn’t helping himself to rent-controlled apartments. It’s irrelevant whether his constituents believe it or not: governmental funds didn’t suddenly create a relatively meager oasis in Manhattan’s most famous desert.

Still, some won’t accept who he is. As an example, his Wikipedia entry includes the remarkable claim that Rangel deserves credit for Harlem’s semi-rebirth, at least the parts of the neighborhood people don’t avoid. Such hilariously partisan blather is egregious even by the proletariat web encyclopedia’s standards:

He played a significant role in the creation of the 1995 Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation and the national Empowerment Zone Act, which helped change the economic face of Harlem and other inner-city areas.

They would have better off without his alleged help. Gentrification due to rich private citizens rediscovering brownstones along with entrepreneurs tapping into a neglected market combined to fix the area. On the other hand, federal intervention helped Harlem as much as the stimulus helped the rest of America.

In fact, the money taken from the economy and thrown in Harlem’s direction dramatically slowed the process of private cash injection. At best, some of the federal cash thrown above Central Park stuck to a few blocks; in that case, it only took a few decades to see a few signs of life.

Fellow Empire Stater Chuck Schumer subscribes to the latter theory, although he still failed in his effort to sock it to millionaires on New Year’s Day. No higher levies for rich folks? I guess they’ll have to take their money and create jobs without Joe Biden’s help.

Aside from his personal investment in the slick suit and pomade industries, Rangel is the ideal combination of personal and political corruption. If one is going to redistribute income, why not do some of it to oneself?

In his disregard for laws and decency, Rangel also serves as his party’s tattered mascot. Yes, even Sean Hannity would admit there are corrupt and/or shameless Republicans off-camera after Greta’s show began. But this state’s Democrats are better manufacturing humiliation, which makes them much worse.

Many of those in power here are semi-unique: criminal or not, they’re sleazy in their own individual ways. Notably, Western New York’s most famous representatives during the Barack Obama have been amateur wrestler Eric Massa and shameless denture anecdote spinner Louise Slaughter. Our reps reside in the damp basement apartment of the People’s House.

The executive branch’s seat-fillers are similarly sterling. Shameless Wall Street bullier and hooker buyer Eliot Spitzer set the standard for Yankee fan David Paterson, who is in turn being replaced by former HUD scoundrel Andrew Cuomo. Worst, they all advocate a command economy even when they manage to behave.

They think they can spend your earning better than you can. On a related note, the shifty lefties all share tremendous antipathy for corporations, aside from the bailed-out failures and those politically connected enough to cut out favors. Their goals are appalling whether they enact them legally or not.

Rangel is merely the worst at present. The Ways and Means meanie is a greasily arrogant embodiment of a politician who thinks he shouldn’t have to obey the same rules as us peasants. But he hurts the nation even when he’s not thieving.

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