Monday, November 20, 2006

Rangel and the art of knowing which side his bread is buttered

All the pundits are hitting all the right notes in describing Charlie Rangel and his legislation about reinstating the draft, but I haven't heard the real reasons.

Greed. Power. Face-time.

Rangel knows there is no chance for his draft legislation. That really isn't part of his equation. Those who have questioned his integrity in proposing this self serving vehicle are also wasting their time and energy, because Charlie doesn't care what they think whether they are right or wrong. Even if they lived in the same universe as Charlie, they don't seem to understand their opinion isn't important.

It is all about Charlie.

Charlie is ticking off the items on the priority list of Rangels world. He might just think the anti-war movement is full of wackos and weirdos, but he loves their adulation. Priority one - Face time and Charlie figures he can wrangle a ton of print articles, radio shows and Sunday morning talking-head appearances on just this one issue. In terms of genuiness, Charlie is the Murtha of the draft.

Charlie has always coveted more power than his little district can give him. How unfortunate that his god didn't rectify this years ago, but with all that face-time this non-issue will give him, well, in Charlie's mind, it puts some more power chips in front of his political poker chair which adds up to another priority of more power. And Charlie does believe himself quite the poker player, what with all the bluffing and all.

Priority three is simply greed. Greed for all of priority one and two he can get. Those, face-time and power, give him the key to the door of greed. Greed for even more play at the boardroom tables, more input into what he (de jour issue)deems important in Charlie's universe and money. By George, this little play might make him the Jesse Jackson of Capital Hill. We know how much Jesse's blackmail sensitivity has cost American business, but can we ever know how much a Rangel will cost Our Republic?