There's a great profile of Charlie Rangel in today's Washington Post. When the new Congress convenes, he'll become Chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
Rangel is an unreconstructed, old-style, big city liberal whose occasionally over-the-top rhetoric is a real tonic for knee-jerk, bleeding hearts like yours truly.
When he ascends to his Chairmanship early next year, he will become the most powerful black man ever on Capitol Hill. We ought to have come further than that in the 140 odd years since Appomattox, but it beats losing.
Rangel's place in history, however, was secured earlier in the demented presidency of George Bush the Younger.
Rangel, the congressman who represents Harlem, was appearing on a local NYC public broadcasting station, WLIW, in March of 2005 when he was asked to give his quick thoughts about various political figures. The first was Dubya.
His response, while accentuating the positive, was as devastating as it was accurate:
"Well," Rangel said. "I really think that he shatters the myth of white supremacy once and for all; it shows that, in this great country, anybody can become president."
I'm sure glad he's on my side.