Charlie on the beach outside his Caribbean Dacha. Looks cooked.
Good time Charlie going to give it up??
This morning, Politico took a look at the race of longtime Representative Charlie Rangel (D-NY). Rangel, who has suffered from poor health and according to the article spent three months away from the House at one point this year, is running against three opponents whose combined efforts could very well prevent him from having a final term in the House at the age of 82.
First, according to the article:
Hitting the trail last week, Rangel — who survived a tough reelection fight in 2010 despite the ethics case and a suggestion from President Barack Obama at the time to “end his career with dignity” — displayed an almost missionary zeal to prove his detractors wrong. Betrayal and disrespect — Rangel believes he deserves better after such a long record of service — appear to be fueling his bid at least as much as securing another two years in the House.
This is a recurring problem with Members of Congress; they believe they deserve to be re-elected and deserve respect from the people who have voted into office.
When they serve at the pleasure of the people, it sometimes gets lost in the Members whose office it really is that they occupy.
While it is not my place to say whether or not Rangel has represented the wishes of his constituents in office (thought 40-plus years in the House indicates he has done so, or at least has hidden when he has not represented those wishes), serving in the House is a privilege created to better the nation. One thing to note, the House is not the place for retirees. They get enough perks as it is when we vote them out. The House takes care of it’s former members.
It is not a retirement community in which voters owe Members their support, especially given the sad state of affairs facing the nation.
This attitude on the part of Rangel was highlighted by Jason Mattera several years ago, when during an ambush interview of Rangel over the ethics investigation Materra was asked “why don’t you mind your [expletive] business?” Yup – the then-Chairman of the tax-writing House Ways & Means Committee thought his illegal navigation of the tax code was not the taxpayers’ business. Nothing much became of the ethics investigation. It just works that way.