September 21, 2003

Whom the Gods Would Destroy, They First Make Mad

Driven to madness by his mad-ness, Congressman Charlie is the perfect angry Democrat:

"He can save this goddam nation from self-destruction," declares New York Congressman Charles Rangel, who is arranging a meeting for Clark with the Congressional Black Caucus, possibly as early as this week. But Rangel acknowledges that he has never met Clark in person (they have talked on the phone) and didn't know a thing about Clark until he started catching the general's criticism of the Iraq war on cnn.

What's worse, Charlie's view of his country or his willingness to look to a savior about whom he admittedly knows nothing? Alas, as we all know, Charlie is far from alone.

The same was true of Sylvia Gillis, 57, an insurance broker who was among the 50 or so people who gathered to toast Clark's candidacy last Wednesday night at Frankie Z's Clark Bar in Chicago. "My mouth dropped open—a military man taking this antiwar position," she said. "He seemed honest, trustworthy, well versed and intellectual. My dream come true."

Wow, it's like there's never been another man who wore a uniform who's been opposed to war before. Are Democrats as a rule so completely ignorant of history? Or did they take that "end of history" thing a little too literally?.

It's just a bit afield, and yet, there is so much in Hamlet's soliloquy that seems apropos:

To be, or not to be- that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them. To die- to sleep-
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die- to sleep.
To sleep- perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub!
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th' unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would these fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death-
The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns- puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action.

Posted by Charles Austin at September 21, 2003 10:51 AM

Charles Rangel is an extremely odious man, a complete discredit to his position. He's lied outright on national television, he's accused his ideological opponents of being racists for wanting to cut taxes, and he's advocated the most thoroughgoing totalitarianism to make headway for his favorite federal program, the War On Drugs.

The lie? Oh, that was fun. It was 1988. Rangel was debating the Drug War with William F. Buckley, perhaps the highest-profile advocate of legalization at that time. To gain a tactical edge in that debate, Rangel claimed that legalization would be "in violation of our treaties."

Buckley asked which treaty Rangel had in mind, to which the Congressman replied, "The Psychotropic Substances Treaty of 1980." The statement seemed to take Buckley aback, and the debate moved into other channels.

Afterward, once the cameras were no longer rolling, someone -- it might have been Buckley -- confessed to ignorance about the Psychotropic Substances Treaty of 1980, and asked about its specific provisions and what countries had signed it. A lot of bystanders' ears pricked up in anticipation of the answer.

Rangel roared with laughter, pointed at Buckley and said "He demanded a treaty, didn't he?"

That's right. He made it up.

Would anything be beneath a federal legislator who would fabricate an international treaty on national television to score a point in a debate over a subject as important as drugs?

If I were a presidential candidate, the last man whose support I'd seek would be the Dishonorable Charles Rangel.

Posted by: Francis W. Porretto at 12:40 PM