Despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s best efforts, New York Democrat Charles Rangel is refusing to step down as House Ways & Means Committee chair. Although his committee oversees federal tax policy, “the Harlem congressman [has] admitted owing at least $10,000 in back taxes.” Â Rangel “failed to disclose rental income from his Dominican Republic beach home.”
The longer Rangel maintains his committee chairmanship, the more people will see that while Democrats regained their congressional majority just two years ago, promising to clean up Congress, they have acted upon promise. Â The situation has worsened since Nancy Pelosi took hold of the Speaker’s gavel.
As Congress fails to rein in excessive spending, its approval rating continues to plummet.
The publicity this scandal generates could remind voters how little the Pelosi Democrats have done to change the ways things are done in Washington. Two years ago, the Mark Foley scandal helped sink any chances Republicans had of retaining Congress. Will Rangel’s problems have a similar effect on the Democratic incumbents?
It’s too soon to tell, but before we Republicans break out the champagne, bear this in mind: the media seems far less interested in Democratic scandals than in Republican ones. And this one doesn’t involve sex.