America’s top black politicians—is there a pattern here?
It’s not been a good week for New York State’s leading African-American office-holders. The hapless governor, David Paterson, is close to resigning over his grossly improper personal interference in a police matter to protect his closest aide, David Johnson, who had been charged with beating his girlfriend, Sherr-Una Booker; for telling multiple lies about it; and also for telling multiple lies under oath about his receipt of $6,000 worth of World Series tickets. And the state’s most senior member of Congress, Rep. Charles Rangel (my congressman), has just stepped aside as chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which handles tax matters, over his numerous tax violations including his ownership of many residential properties for which he has never paid taxes, and will probably not seek re-election. Recent photos of the normally affable and on-top-of-the-world Rangel show a shockingly deflated, broken-looking man.
Meanwhile our nation’s African-American chief executive, in the single grossest act of political influence peddling I can remember, named to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals the brother of a Democratic congressman who is undecided on the health care bill, on the same day that he had that congressman come to the White House to discuss the bill.