Thursday, April 14, 2005

Jay Nordlinger

This is from his "Impromtpus"
Bear in mind that Charles Rangel is not some street-corner ranter. He is a member of the U.S. Congress, and the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee. If his party wins a majority next year, he will be chairman.
Rangel gave a speech about Social Security before black retired workers outside New York’s City Hall. Meghan Clyne of the New York Sun reports:

. . . For black Americans, the congressman added, the struggle against the proposed changes in the entitlement system was “not only a civil-rights fight, but a fight for America.” Mr. Rangel called on African-Americans to continue their “missionary” work against the Social Security proposals and likened the effort to his marching with Martin Luther King Jr. from Selma to Montgomery.
“We have to get rid of the bums that are trying to take it away from us,” Mr. Rangel said of the Social Security system, referring to Republicans in Washington and City Hall — “people who sleep with Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and the rest of them.”
A member of the City Council from Brooklyn, Charles Barron, joined Mr. Rangel in urging African-Americans to stand against alterations to the system. “It’s bad enough they won’t pay us our reparations,” Mr. Barron, who for a time was seeking the Democratic mayoral nomination, said. “Now they’re trying to take away our Social Security!”
Neither Mr. Barron nor Mr. Rangel detailed at the meeting why the president’s proposals were harmful to the black community. When asked for specifics by The New York Sun after the event, Mr. Rangel said, “The progressive nature of being able to get returns means that lower-income people benefit more than higher-income people” from the Social Security system. Since members of minority groups disproportionately constitute the lower income brackets, the congressman said, they stand to lose the most from Mr. Bush’s efforts — which the congressman labeled “fraud” and an “impeachable offense.”

I’m trying to figure out which is most interesting: that Rangel considers opposition to Social Security reform a civil-rights stance; that he regards reform as an “impeachable offense”; or that he saw fit to invoke the name of Paul Wolfowitz, the former deputy secretary of defense, in a speech demonizing Social Security reform.
Anything to get that name out, I guess — a name that, as Mark Steyn says, begins with a scary animal and ends Jewishly.


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