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Posts Tagged ‘Rangel’

You should take one for the team.  That’s what a baseball player (like on the Bad News Bears) does when letting a pitch hit him.  In the 90s, Chelsea Clinton’s new mother-in-law did just that to help pass Bill Clinton’s budget plan by one vote.  As a congressional freshman, Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky knew the plan was good for America and that it was political suicide in her district—always try to do the right thing.

Texan J.J. Pickle voted for civil rights legislation after famously saying, “Lyndon, I can’t vote for that…that’s political suicide in Texas.”  LBJ then listed all the appropriations projects he was going to pull from Pickle’s district.  Pickle survived had a sweet suite in the Cannon House Office Building for years—his constituents could stand behind him while he sat at his desk and get a photo with the Capitol dome in the background in the window.  All politics is local at the end of the day.

On a trip back to D.C. a few years ago, I met Georgia Rep. David Scott on the corner outside Pickle’s old office.  He was nice to my friends and me.  I hate that Dr. Deborah Honeycutt and Scott are in the same congressional district because I think she could add a Black woman’s calmness to the House Republican conference and heaven knows they need it.  If given the opportunity to support less enraged Republicans, our community should take a good look. 

I had to get around to Chairman Charlie Rangel.  He was the epitome smoothness when I was a staffer.  We said he sounds like a Black Ralph Karmden from the Honeymooners.  “Norton….Norton…pal of mine.”  Today, we wonder if Rangel has any pals on Hill.  People who read his book “And I Haven’t Had A Bad Day Since” or who saw him promoting it on Cspan know he survived some of the bloodiest fighting in Korea and was hero for leading other troops out of a Chinese encirclement in freezing weather.  He should cut a deal with the House to make this situation go away and then he should gracefully retire to the Dominican Republic.  (I kicked it in Sosua, D.R. and had a fine time…muy bueno.)

Rep. Rangel should take one for the team because his minor infractions could tip the balance in November.  He was a mentor to my southwest Georgia congressman and other members of the CBC.  Let me say this in no uncertain terms: if Sanford Bishop doesn’t win in November, the CBC and the White House will gut farm programs like a fish.  Rep. Mike Espy of Mississippi and later Bishop championed these programs inside the CBC and over time members learned that farms and agricultural operations are vital to rural America’s local tax base—farms fund schools.  While the Tea Party Movement would love that seat, south Georgians should think hard before bouncing a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. 

I think Bishop’s opponent knows that redistricting is around the corner and a strong showing in 2010 might convince his former colleagues in the statehouse to put his county in a more consevative district.  Of course, he wants to win now but the power and knowledge of SDB is important in this struggling region.  When or if the Democrats hold the House, SDB could be an appropriations subcommittee chairman—we called them cardinals.

At church yesterday, I was thinking about Abraham, Isaac and sacrifice—you know, the Ram in the brush story.  Like in a lifeboat at sea, the collective must decide who should be sacrificed so most can survive.  I am a moderate who will admit that Isakson is the Republican in the Georgia delegation with the best relationship in the Black community and Bishop is similar in our party.  Bishop has caught heat from city liberals and CBC members for supporting issues of importance to rural America.  If someone must take one for the team, lean into the pitch or be the Ram in the brush, it should be the Democrat who is the least Democrat.  That would be Rep. Jim Marshall of Macon.  This White House and the DNC should protect loyal members like David Scott, Sanford Bishop and John Barrow first. 

In 1993, a snowstorm caused the House of Representatives to have a half day and I went to the Union Station to see Schindler’s List.  My goodness, I could tell by the support from family members that a few people in the crowd were actual Holocaust survivors.  While that was one of the roughest movies of my life, one somewhat comic scene relates to this blog post.  A ruthless German officer had prisoners lined up and he shoots a man while trying to discover who stole a chicken.  A teenager step forward and reveals that he knows who the food taker is.  The teen points down at the dead man and the German believes him. 

The boy was wise enough to think that this poor fellow is already gone; let him be a sacrifice so that no one else dies over a chicken.  The Democrats aren’t crafty enough to think that if a member of the Georgia delegation must be sacrificed, it should be the one who is political gone already. 

Let me tell you what might happen: the GOP could be within a few seats of controlling the House and offer Marshall a chairmanship to switch parties.  Of course, he will take it and Democrats will come across as schmucks.  By the way: the second coolest Republican in Georgia behind Isakson is Jim Marshall’s opponent.  Is Michael Steele reading this?  Bro, this is the seat to get.  Say you want them all.  Right, and people in hell want ice water.

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