No one is going to make Democrats answer for Charlie Rangel’s latest gaffe

posted at 5:21 pm on August 25, 2014 by Noah Rothman

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) makes a habit of embarrassing his fellow Democratic representatives. Fortunately for Rangel’s colleagues, they are rarely asked to account for the misstatements of the perennial New York congressman in the same fashion that, say, so many Republican office holders were made to account for the imprudent statements of former Rep. Todd Akin.

Take, for example, Rangel’s recent reiteration of his claim that the states which made up the Confederacy support conservative Republicans because their residents are largely racists who despise President Barack Obama due to the color of his skin.

Via BuzzFeed, C-SPAN’s Q&A recently hosted Rangel where he was asked if he stood by his claim that most Republican opposition to Obama was driven by his race rather than his party.

“I have been requested not to talk about that too much,” Rangel conceded. “I think the reason for it is that it is just too darn obvious as to what it is all about.”

“I think if you take a look and see which counties and which Congressional districts, which areas of the United States had the most prejudice, it would be the slaveholding states,” he continued. “It would be the Confederate states. It would be the states that fought the Union. Those that hated Lincoln.”

Rangel went on, saying Confederates became Dixiecrats and are today members of the Tea Party.

“If you look at it today, they have changed parties,” he said. “They used to be Dixiecrats, then they became Tea Party. The love and affection of embracing the Confederate flag. And then you place a birth that a lot of attention was given to him. The fact that people can say we have got to take our country back and lawyers know it is not what the written word it is how did you say that to determine what they really meant. So people said, please don’t bring up that race thing anymore.”

The problems with this statement are myriad. Not only is it supremely offensive and insulting to an entire region of the United States, it provides so many Americans with an excuse to embrace their own sense of persecution. That’s not a healthy condition, and it is certainly not one a responsible representative of any constituency should foster.

But there is another larger problem with Rangel’s statement: It’s factually inaccurate.

The shift in the White southern electorate away from the Democratic Party and toward the GOP corresponded roughly with a shift in the White northern vote away from Republicans and toward Democrats. Both trends began well before the Civil Rights movement was a political force.

Real Clear Politics’ Sean Trende has done some good work on this subject:

In the 1930s and 1940s, FDR performed worse in the South in every election following his 1932 election. By the mid-1940s, the GOP was winning about a quarter of the Southern vote in presidential elections.

But the big breakthrough, to the extent that there was one, came in 1952. Dwight Eisenhower won 48 percent of the vote there, compared to Adlai Stevenson’s 52 percent. He carried most of the “peripheral South” — Virginia, Tennessee, Texas and Florida — and made inroads in the “Deep South,” almost carrying South Carolina and losing North Carolina and Louisiana by single digits.

Even in what we might call the “Deepest South” — Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi — Eisenhower kept Stevenson under 70 percent, which might not seem like much until you realize that Tom Dewey got 18 percent in Georgia against FDR in 1944, and that this had been an improvement over Herbert Hoover’s 8 percent in 1932.

Rangel has no excuse to make this statement as he should recall the 1970s and 1980s, when the South was still a reliable pool of Democratic votes in presidential years.

A breakdown of the presidential vote by county in 1976:

400px-1976prescountymap2

…and 1980:

400px-1980prescountymap2

… shows that his transition was far from complete by the later part of the 20th Century.

In fact, the transition in the South is continuing. Republicans only took control of both chambers of the Mississippi legislature in 2011 – it was the first time the GOP had achieved this feat since Reconstruction. Even on the federal level, the South continues to realign. If the polls are to be believed, for example, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is set to become West Virginia’s first Republican U.S. Senator since Sen. William Chapman Revercomb lost to Rep. Robert Byrd in 1958 (in what was a particularly racially charged election).

But Rangel’s racially inflammatory and factually vacuous statement will pass with a chuckle from the press in much the same way that Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-NV) racially charged jokes at the expense of Nevada’s Asian community did not merit a national conversation or a series of denunciations from his Democratic colleagues.

It’s a wonder why Rangel was, as he says, admonished for his routine and sloppy racial agitation. It is not as though any of his fellow Democrats are ever punished for his excess.


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Bishop

307wolverine on August 25, 2014 at 5:23 PM

I hate Democrats. I really do. Every. Stinkin’. One. Of. Them. The air they breathe. The ground they walk on. Everything effing thing.

307wolverine on August 25, 2014 at 5:27 PM

I hate Democrats. I really do. Every. Stinkin’. One. Of. Them. The air they breathe. The ground they walk on. Everything effing thing.

307wolverine on August 25, 2014 at 5:27 PM

This.

Midas on August 25, 2014 at 5:31 PM

gaffe

you meant to say Hate Speech

faraway on August 25, 2014 at 5:33 PM

I hate Democrats. I really do. Every. Stinkin’. One. Of. Them. The air they breathe. The ground they walk on. Everything effing thing.

307wolverine on August 25, 2014 at 5:27 PM

This is not how Reagan won two national elections.
Let the Dems be the haters.

We can persuade moderates & fence-sitters–& consequently win elections–with optimism, truth, & good character.

itsnotaboutme on August 25, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Hey Charlie, – stop the race pimpin and start focusing on paying your taxes.

NapaConservative on August 25, 2014 at 5:34 PM

What, pay? They’re delighted when he whips out the race card.

S. Weasel on August 25, 2014 at 5:36 PM

I can’t get too upset with Rep. Rangel, he’s an older gentleman who lives in his past. Besides I can’ get called a racist every day and twice on Sunday, so big whoop.

Cindy Munford on August 25, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Agitator…..just like the President. Dems play on emotions and screw the facts.

Privatize It on August 25, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Charlie is a communist too

Privatize It on August 25, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Fook Rangel. He’s a grade-A, slimy, corrupt Democrat.

I make no apologies for the crime of being born white in Alabama. I’m a far better man than that racist POS.

Closet Optimist on August 25, 2014 at 5:47 PM

NYC is one of the most racist cities in the country (just going the PC way), this guy has gall.

Iblis on August 25, 2014 at 5:48 PM

So, the next time a Republican or conservative is asked about, or tied to controversial comments made by people like Todd Akin, the targeted Republican/conservative should simply tell members of the media to go screw themselves and come back once they’ve asked Democrats about the many extremist statements made by their party-hack colleagues.

Aizen on August 25, 2014 at 5:48 PM

While the fascist-leftists control the media we will continue the insanity and our country goes down the drain. In order for some blacks to be above the law and scrutiny other blacks must be persecuted and miserable. Blue states and blue cities are where the black community does the very worst.

It. Is. By. Design.

jukin3 on August 25, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Does Rangle know that Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington D.C. were all slave holding and northern states, even after the hostilities started? What about that sate that was having draft riots and burning blacks alive. Wasn’t that New York? New York City to be more precise?

DAT60A3 on August 25, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Rangel is not one who will let documented fact interfere with his opinions and his own racism! What a disgrace for a man like this to be elected to the H of R.

rjoco1 on August 25, 2014 at 5:53 PM

It’s so cute when the party of the Klan lectures everyone else on race, what hypoctrites. Oh yeah F you Rangel and everyone that knows you. What a shame that someone who served the country honorably in Korea turns into nothing more than a racist tax evading pile of shit.

bbinfl on August 25, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Sure Rangel’s wrong and all but, at this point in his life, picking on him too much is kind of like picking on a quadriplegic. Sure you can do it but it makes you look like a bit of an a55hole.

The Grinch on August 25, 2014 at 5:56 PM

There sure are a lot of racists out there Charlie! I hope he goes into exquisite detail, county by county and passes judgment publicly. And lets have no talk of his myriad tax and rent control frauds until he’s done pontificating, just so we don’t distract the good Congressman.

MTF on August 25, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Having an overt racialist declare who is racist is humorous. I’m pretty much with 307Wolverine as long as they believe they can openly lie as a legislative tactic. That shows contempt. I don’t ignore contemptuous people, I stand guard.

DanMan on August 25, 2014 at 6:05 PM

The Grinch on August 25, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Then how about we pick on people that can’t spell?

Naw. I’m still good with pointing out that ole Chuck is a POS.

Guess I’m just an A-hole.

Closet Optimist on August 25, 2014 at 6:05 PM

But there is another larger problem with Rangel’s statement: It’s factually inaccurate.

Racists don’t care about facts. Most Democrats are racists.

alanstern on August 25, 2014 at 6:09 PM

The Grinch on August 25, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Rangel isn’t a quadriplegic. He’s a prominent member of the House of Representatives, a former chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and an important member of the Congressional Black Caucus. We had darned well better criticize him until his colleagues and the voters repudiate him. If you don’t like it, pound sand.

Athanasius on August 25, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Hey! Give Charlie a break! He has a hard enough time paying his taxes correctly, even though he’s one of the people who wrote the tax code.

GarandFan on August 25, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Alright CO, what did I misspell exactly?

The Grinch on August 25, 2014 at 6:14 PM

That’s our Commie Charlie, when he doesn’t have an opportunity to be racist, he’s up to racebaiting on the chance he can be.

Dusty on August 25, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Racial strife favors the Despicable Party, and the lowest among them actually believe they are discriminated against in today’s society, which is patently ridiculous.

aquaviva on August 25, 2014 at 6:25 PM

“I think if you take a look and see which counties and which Congressional districts, which areas of the United States had the most prejudice, it would be the slaveholding states,” he continued. “It would be the Confederate states. It would be the states that fought the Union. Those that hated Lincoln.”

Rangel went on, saying Confederates became Dixiecrats and are today members of the Tea Party.

“If you look at it today, they have changed parties,” he said.

With the sole exception of Strom Thurmond, please tell me which of the following Democrats, who all filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964, died as Republicans:

Senator Al Gore, Sr.

Senator Robert J Byrd

Senator Fritz Hollings

Senator J. Lister Hill

Senator John Sparkman

Senator Strom Thurmond

Senator John Little McClellan

Senator George A. Smathers

Senator Spessard Holland

Senator Herman Talmadge

Senator Richard Brevard Russell, Jr.

Senator Allen J. Ellender

Senator Russel B Long

Senator James Eastland

Senator John Stennis

Senator B. Everett Jordan

Senator Sam Ervin

Senator Olin D. Johnston

Senator Herbert S. Walters

Senator Absalom Willis Robertson

Senator Harry F. Byrd, Jr.

Answer: Not. A. Single. One.

Now, same question for these stellar Democratic standouts:

Governor Orval Faubus

Sheriff Bull Connor

Governor George Wallace

Answer: Again, Not. A. Single. One.

In the Democratic Party, you can be a Southern Governor like Bubba Clinton, never take one act in your 12 years to remove the confederate flag from your capitol and sign Act 985 making the birthdays of Martin Luther King, Jr, the preeminent leader of the civil-rights movement, and Robert E Lee, the general who led the Confederate army, a state holiday – TO BE OBSERVED ON THE SAME DAY – AND STILL GET ELECTED President of the United States of America. Then, as POTUS, you can award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to a staunch segregationist like William J Fullbright. Yes, you can! And, you can do all of that and STILL be the putative first black President of the United States of America and be loved and adored by your Party and the Congressional Black Caucus.

Why? Because in the Democratic Party, the Bobby Byrds never cooooommmmmme hoooooommmmme tooooooooo rooooooooossssttttt!

Of course, if you are a Republican, don’t try this at home…or at the 100th birthday party of a former Democrat. ‘Cuz, if you do, that would make you a RAAAAAAAAAAAAACIST!

Resist We Much on August 25, 2014 at 6:25 PM

The entire Senate Democrat caucus ought to be put in a home for dementia.

formwiz on August 25, 2014 at 6:29 PM

Senile old phart…

ExpressoBold on August 25, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Sure Rangel’s wrong and all but, at this point in his life, picking on him too much is kind of like picking on a quadriplegic. Sure you can do it but it makes you look like a bit of an a55hole.

The Grinch on August 25, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Nah, f*ck that. And frankly, if a quadriplegic was a racist, tax-evading, lying, law-breaking f*ckwit crapweasel, he’d deserve every bit as much shit as anyone else.

Midas on August 25, 2014 at 6:37 PM

You do realize, Athanasius, that people here are allowed to have differing opinions? Picking on old, arguably senile guys like Rangel wins few friends. Besides, no one’s taken him seriously for at least a decade. Rangel’s statement is silly on its face and devoting an entire article to refuting it just seems petty.

The Grinch on August 25, 2014 at 6:37 PM

It’s factually inaccurate.

Note to Greg Gutfeld: Ban this phrase.

Ronnie on August 25, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Besides, no one’s taken him seriously for at least a decade. Rangel’s statement is silly on its face and devoting an entire article to refuting it just seems petty.

The Grinch on August 25, 2014 at 6:37 PM

.
Yet he’s still returned term after term to the House by his CD. What does he do to gain their support? His antics and screwy behavior affect us all and take our tax dollars. I tell you, we ought to charge the CD for the senile nitwit’s salary and benefits; how many residents of ANY CD would be happy to pay for their Representative’s salary and benefits directly? DIRECTLY. Case in point: Cantor’s departure date from Congress passed without comment – from anyone.
.
As long as someone else is paying the freight his CD supporters lap up his racist antics. That ain’t petty. I could go on but you get the idea and the drift of where I’m going with this, right? Senile old phart needs to go!

ExpressoBold on August 25, 2014 at 6:48 PM

The Grinch on August 25, 2014 at 6:37 PM

Who said you weren’t entitled to your opinion? You want to give Rangel a pass that’s up to you. His colleagues apparently endorse his idiocy, since they haven’t distanced themselves from it or him. So they can wear it.

Athanasius on August 25, 2014 at 7:33 PM

I forgot to post this when Reid had some yuks at the expense of Asians, but it applies to Rangel, too: The Pillage Idiot Guide to Offensive Statements by Public Officials.

I think it was a Reid statement four-plus years ago that led me to create it.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on August 25, 2014 at 9:10 PM

Fine. I’m racist. Just like I was racist when I opposed Bill Clinton and didn’t vote for Kerry or Gore.

yhxqqsn on August 25, 2014 at 9:12 PM

Rangel: And then you place a birth that a lot of attention was given to him. The fact that people can say we have got to take our country back and lawyers know it is not what the written word it is how did you say that to determine what they really meant. So people said, please don’t bring up that race thing anymore.”

Would somebody please unscramble this egg for me? I haven’t a clue about what he is saying here.

onlineanalyst on August 25, 2014 at 9:19 PM

Rangel, with his graft and corruption, is still comic-relief and the best thing you can say about him is that he stands in the way of another idiot left-wing radical to be voted in by clueless New Yorkers.

They selected De Blasio (not his real name) so they deserve anything Rangel does to them.

virgo on August 25, 2014 at 9:35 PM

“You’re all a bunch of racists. So please, let’s not bring up this racism thing again, OK?”

–Charlie Rangel
Race panderer extraordinaire

orangemtl on August 25, 2014 at 9:55 PM

These Northern urban race baiters can only survive in a relatively stable, prosperous America-just like their white Lib counterparts. If things fall apart, few will be in the mood to hear their racist BS and nonsensical pontifications.

They will be swallowed up the realities of the irresistible tide of economic and social upheaval, and will disappear into the dustbin of history like so many demagogues of the past.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 25, 2014 at 11:41 PM

Well, if I gave a rat’s patootie what an old, washed-up crook thought, I might be upset.

Yet he’s still returned term after term to the House by his CD. What does he do to gain their support? His antics and screwy behavior affect us all and take our tax dollars. I tell you, we ought to charge the CD for the senile nitwit’s salary and benefits; how many residents of ANY CD would be happy to pay for their Representative’s salary and benefits directly? DIRECTLY. Case in point: Cantor’s departure date from Congress passed without comment – from anyone.
.
As long as someone else is paying the freight his CD supporters lap up his racist antics. That ain’t petty. I could go on but you get the idea and the drift of where I’m going with this, right? Senile old phart needs to go!

ExpressoBold on August 25, 2014 at 6:48 PM

~

Although the lines have changed a bit, this is essentially the same CD that kept Adam Clayton Powell in office for 26 years, even reelecting him after the House took the rare step of expelling him.

Powell rarely went to the district in his later years – he would have been arrested for refusing to pay a slander judgement. He kept homes in Florida and Bimini. He was finally defeated in the Democratic Primary in 1970 by . . . Charles Rangel.

Adjoran on August 25, 2014 at 11:45 PM

I love it when morons go senile.

Akzed on August 26, 2014 at 9:10 AM

The problems with this statement are myriad. Not only is it supremely offensive and insulting to an entire region of the United States, it provides so many Americans with an excuse to embrace their own sense of persecution.

Ummm, it is also supremely incoherent and makes no sense grammatically, whatsoever.

Governor George Wallace

Answer: Again, Not. A. Single. One.

Resist We Much on August 25, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Actually, didn’t George Wallace become a Republican for a while? Or am I thinking of another Wallace?

GWB on August 26, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Actually, didn’t George Wallace become a Republican for a while? Or am I thinking of another Wallace? GWB on August 26, 2014 at 9:11 AM

He ran for President as the American Party candidate until he was shot by one of those mysterious lone gunmen.

Akzed on August 26, 2014 at 9:29 AM