We’ve written extensively about House Ways & Means Chairman Charlie Rangel’s tax and financial problems and have tried to glean a reason why Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and other high ranking Democrats have not demanded his resignation.
Today, Glenn Thrush of Politico in a post titled Pelosi Loath to Drop the Hammer on Rangel gives us his take on Democratic reluctance to oust Rangel:
It would infuriate the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), which is still sore over Pelosi’s decision to strip committees from former Louisiana Rep. Bill Jefferson – even after Jefferson had been found with a wad of tainted cash in his kitchen.
“Unless they find $90,000 in his freezer, like they did with Jefferson, we’re going to wait [for the outcome of a House ethics probe],” said a Democratic aide familiar with Pelosi’s thinking on the matter.
Finding a replacement for Rangel who will satisfy all of the special interest cauci in the Democratic party presents a real problem for the Speaker.
So if she forces Rangel out she’ll have to buck protocol and skip over the heir(brain)-apparent, Stark, which will be problematic because it could make the ranking members of the other house committees feel insecure.
And if the members of the CBC can support a crook like Jefferson simply because he has the right skin color, you can count on it that they will make life miserable for Pelosi if she ices Rangel.
And even if Rangel is forced to resign – whether by the Speaker or an ethics committee sanction – the CBC will demand that Pelosi replace him with another black man.
That means the Chairmanship might be given to the 69 year old former civil rights leader, John Lewis of Georgia, the highest ranking African American member of House Ways & Means.
The most qualified candidate for the Chairmanship is Richard Neal of Massachusetts, the current Chairman of the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures, but his skin doesn’t have sufficient melanin for him to be considered for the job.