Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Charlie Rangel Steps Down - and the MSM gets the framing wrong

MSN.com is reporting (via the AP) that Congressman Charles Rangel has stepped down (at least temporarily) from his post as Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. This is a good thing, because the House Ethics Committee may actually do its job and refer him for prosecution after finding that he may well have violated rules regarding gifts from lobbyists.

Of course, the MSN story - like most MSM stories about these sorts of things - is trying to frame this as a set-back from Democrats, and thus another nail in the mid-term election coffin:

The 79-year-old Rangel's decision was another jarring setback for President Barack Obama and majority Democrats in Congress, coming at a time when the party is scrambling to save sweeping health care overhaul legislation that has been pending on Capitol Hill for well over a year and still assessing a surging anti-incumbent fervor among the voters.

OR voters could look at this as the Democratic leadership FINALLY living up to its promise in 2006 to run a more ethical shop then their predecessors. After all, it's not like Mr. Rangel is the ONLY senior Democrat in the House who can lead negotiations.

But the MSM has published it, so their narrative MUST be right . . .

8 comments:

Mike at The Big Stick said...

It's kind of a set-back in the sense that Democrats always get away with a lot more ethical violations than the GOP does. The fact that Rangel still has a job is proof of that.

Philip H. said...

But 1) its not really a set back for whatever the Obama/Democractic agenda is - which AP/MSN reported it was; and 2) Mr. Rangel isn't likely to get his chair back so his only job now is Congressman - a job which the voters of his District are free to remove from him this fall if they so choose.

Mike at The Big Stick said...

As the leader of his party, any tarnish on a member (and a Black Caucus member at that) is a tarnish on the President. I think the longer this drags out, the greater the stain.

Philip H. said...

Mike,
Would you or did you say the same about Tom Delay and President Bush? No other conservative that I know or know of did.

Mike at The Big Stick said...

Absolutely. I think the GOP tarnish reflected on the President as well. It certainly hurt John McCain, who himself had a pretty solid record but suffered for the perception of the party.

Mike at The Big Stick said...

I would also add that an argument could be made that the President is less of a party leader in his second term. That's when they enter their lame duck / legacy period and the party starts looking for a new figurehead.

Philip H. said...

Ah yes "Less of a party leader in his second term because the Party is moving on." Tell that to the tribe of St. Ronnie supplicants - or Karl Rove for that matter.

Mike at The Big Stick said...

I've never been a Ronald Reagan guy. But even he wasn't the leader after he left office. He pretty much disappeared.