The Stanton Peele Addiction Website, July 23, 2010. This blog post also appeared on Stanton's blog at The Huffington Post website.
Questions I Would Have Liked Luke Russert to Ask Charlie Rangel
In a viral news clip, Charlie Rangel is shown lecturing a "young" Luke Russert (Russert is 24, Rangel is 80) after NBC's Russert questioned Rangel about facing trial for a host of ethical violations. Russert's original question was whether Rangel feared losing his job. Rangel retorted by asking if Russert knew how Rangel could lose his job.
"Young" Russert actually gave a factual answer to Rangel. Here are the follow-up questions I would have rather heard:
- Do you feel your (generally lower-income) constituents will tolerate hearing that you may benefit financially from illegal activities -- including not paying taxes and controlling several rent-controlled apartments?
- Do you feel your constituents would re-elect you even if you were found guilty of these charges? Why don't they mind if their representatives are stealing?
- Is it your contention that the level of unethical and illegal activity for which you are being tried is standard for Congresspeople with substantial levels of seniority?
- Is there any chance Americans will rise up against the corruption among their elected officials, or are they just sheep, like you seem to think?
- Do you feel your situation as a senior Democratic Congressperson facing serious charges of ethical, legal, and financial wrongdoing contribute to the record low approval ratings for Congress?
- Do you feel you are hurting your fellow Democrats' chances for re-election?
- Do you feel any guilt for what you have done, or do you feel entitled to the benefits the ethics complaint lists?
Thank you so much for answering my questions, Congressman!