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OPINION

Charlie Rangel: The Tea Party “Cult” is Suffering from an “Illness”

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Representative Charlie Rangel (D-NY) recently expressed his puzzlement over the conservative wing of the Republican Party. In between incoherent ramblings and fragmented sentences, the congressman explained that the tea party is a “cult” group that suffers from an apparent “illness”.

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“Politics is (sic) changing for me at this late age, to have to deal with a cult-type of group of people,” said the man who recently allocated millions of taxpayer dollars to a New York library named in his honor. (Maybe he’s speaking out of jealousy?)

“When a handful of people [I assume he is referring to the tea party coalition in the House of Representatives] can control a larger number of people, to repeal a law that has been passed by the House, the Senate, and declared constitutional by the courts - and they campaign on the issue that it should be repealed- this is past Civics 101. This is illness,” said the Congressman who has inexplicably remained in office since 1971. (Whoa…Talk about mental illness!)

Watch the video of the congressman taking a stab at coherent political dialogue:

Well, Mr. Rangel, since you brought it up, maybe we should discuss a little about Civics 101: Obamacare’s individual mandate, judged by the Supreme Court to be a massive tax increase rather than a mandate for commercial engagement, was ruled Constitutional (hat tip to John Roberts)… But there are many other legal challenges pending against the 2,700 page bill and the tens of thousands of regulations that have yet to be fully implemented. Oh… And “Constitutional” does not mean “good” or “well-advised”. Regardless of a few Supreme Court rulings, Obamacare remains a burden on economic vitality and individual liberty.

Of course Rangel’s a congressman… So we clearly can’t expect him to grasp American politics with any degree of adequacy. In addition to stumbling over a butchered sense of civics and constitutional law, the honorary* congressman (*I’m assuming no-one votes for this guy on purpose) took a couple of shots at the tea party.

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Apparently the tea party is a “cult”… I always thought of it more as a collection of like-minded individuals who have banded together (almost like a “party” of some sort) for political clout… Ya know, like the Democrat party, the progressive movement, the Republican Party, the Communist Party, the Libertarian Party, the conservative movement, the constitutional movement, or for that matter any other faction of American political ideology in the last 200 years. I mean, heck, it’s not as if the tea party has routinely re-elected a man who used taxpayer funds to build a conference center, public service center or library in his own honor (Ahem*Rangel*ahem). Now that would be cult-like.

Then there’s Rangel’s laughable assertion that repealing laws is an illness; a statement that deserves a prominent spot on the liberal-lunacy highlight reel of 2013. I’m willing to bet there were plenty of Jim Crow era laws that deserved repeal. And I find it hard to believe that most of America was mentally ill when it decided to repeal the 18th Amendment, thus ending prohibition.

In fact, if mental illness is to be judged by traditional metrics, the case could be made that supporters of Obamacare are the ones suffering in today’s political climate. How else can it be explained that they think handing healthcare over to the same folks who run the DMV, the IRS, and the Social Security Administration will somehow improve things for average citizens? I mean, it’s not as if the government has excelled at everything else it attempts to regulate into perfection. (Education, finance, mortgages, student loans, retirement assistance, etc… Do we need to continue with this list?)

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While the most recent utterances from one of America’s career-congressman are relatively inconsequential (much like his censure for ethics violations), they illustrate a growing trend in American politics: The belief that small government advocates are radical, dangerous, and mutinous to government action.

Well, the same thing was said about small-government advocates in the 18th century… So, I guess Rangel is putting the tea party in good company. The self-obsessed (and ethically challenged) New York Democrat might have just given the tea party quite the compliment. After all, if he is the poster-child for “sanity” in DC, I guess I’d like a few more crazies to get elected in 2014.

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