The editors of the New Republic have some harsh words[subscription only] for House Democrats, who toppled a GOP majority in 2006 by promising to clean up Washington. Charlie Rangel and John Murtha, two of the most senior and powerful Democrats in the House, are an embarrassment.
Late August brought the stunning revelation that Rangel failed to note two bank accounts, each containing somewhere in the range of $250,000 and $500,000, on past financial disclosure forms. Add to this the unreported $75,000 in income from a beachfront villa, illegal rent-stabilized apartments, and other problems and you begin to understand why it is taking the ethics committee so long to sift through all of the complaints. If that weren’t bad enough, there’s the brazen condescension with which Rangel brushes off the allegations. “I recognize that all of you have an obligation to ask questions,” Rangel recently told reporters, “knowing that there’s none of you smart enough to frame it in such a way that I’m going to respond.”
If Rangel thinks reporters are dumb, imagine what he thinks of his constitutents. All I know is that, somewhere, Tom Daschle is fuming about double standards.