by Chris Bodenner
Peter Beinart predicts that the ethically-challenged chairman of Ways and Means will be one of the Democrats' biggest liabilities this fall:
Since Pelosi won’t nudge Rangel, it’s time for Obama to nudge Pelosi. After all the abuse the White House has taken for not televising the health-care deliberations, surely it has learned that for independents in particular, symbols of government openness and honesty really matter. Obama doesn’t owe Rangel anything: The Harlem congressman not only endorsed Hillary Clinton during the 2008 campaign, he reminded voters of Obama’s youthful drug use. And with an African-American in the White House, Rangel’s supporters will find it hard to claim he’s a victim of racism. A year ago, when Rangel was guiding health-care legislation through his Ways and Means Committee, replacing him might have been costly. But now the action has moved to the House and Senate floor.
The Democrats are, substantively, the party of government. They're the party that wants to tell people we can make government work for you. We want you to believe in the public sector. That party, it seems to me, bears an extra burden to make sure that the public sector operates with transparency and according to some rules.
He also thinks it will be up to Obama to push Rangel out. A showdown could be an interesting test of the president's "post-racial" mandate.
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