A New Role


Charlie Rangel, who has been around long enough to see just about everything, finds himself on unfamiliar turf today, defending President Bush from the colorful criticisms of Hugo Chavez in his presentation to the U.N.

Among other things the ever-quotable Rangel said:

You don’t come into my county, you don’t come into my congressional district and you don’t condemn my president. If there is any criticism of the president, it should be restricted to Americans…Are there any questions? I’ve said it all.

It’s actually smart politics. Which may be why Nancy Pelosi is also going after Chavez, who comes across to most Americans more as a pro-wrestling heel than a world leader, in what looks like a suspiciously concerted effort by the Democrats to score easy patriotism points.

Not that Rangel, a decorated veteran, particularly has anything to prove in that department.

Watch his remarkable performance here.

— Azi Paybarah

A New Role