Speaking to reporters outside a Democratic caucus meeting Tuesday, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) suggested that the VA scandal was a class issue, saying, “And I tell you, if it was a different class of people that were dying on Wall Street, it would not happen, and I know that. And no one can challenge that.”
As reported in the Washington Times, the New York City Democrat began his rant by suggesting that America’s clergy does not sermonize enough against war and for the protection of veterans:
“We have these tremendous people committing suicide every day. We’ve lost more feeling that their life is not worthwhile in America than those who were put in harm’s way,” Mr. Rangel said. “There’s something wrong with the way we fight these wars, with the people with the least economic opportunity always being called on for unconstitutional wars.
Rangel didn’t mention which wars were unconstitutional. The only action in recent years that could be called unconstitutional (no congressional approval) was the Air Force action ordered by President Obama in Libya.
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When he was asked whether VA Secretary Eric Shinseki should continue in his position, Rangel said the problem went way beyond that:
“I am saying it’s our whole country — it’s our religious community that allows this to happen,” he said. “And I tell you, if it was a different class of people that were dying on Wall Street, it would not happen, and I know that. And no one can challenge that.
“They’re destroying their own lives because of this — they come home and they find [themselves] jobless and homeless and [hopeless], and we don’t talk about it,” he said. “And we just talk casually about the introduction of troops … so you asked the wrong guy for any rational explanation for what’s happening to them; VA or no VA, it’s wrong.”
Some might find it ironic that Rangel who was censured by a congress dominated by his own party for using his office to enrich himself takes a bipartisan issue and turns it into a “rich vs. poor” issue.