Friday, March 9, 2007
Walking the Halls of Congress: A Chance Encounter
By Nancy Kricorian
Walking the halls of Congress on Wednesday, we happened to walk by Charles Rangel's office (D-NY) while he was standing in the foyer signing some papers. Because Gael Murphy has no timidity, she walked in and started chatting with him. Since he's almost my Congressmember (his district starts 2 blocks North of my house, but i didn't tell him that) I started talking as well. He was not very encouraging. Although he says he deeply supports ending the war and occupation and it sickens his heart to have us stay in Iraq any longer, he took a very pragmatic and political view of how to go about ending it. He said that the Democrats don't have a plan because a "plan" is something we have the votes to pass. He said it'd be better to compromise and support a bill that had a definite date for a pull-out, but a date a long way off, then supporting a bill that brings the troops out ASAP but wont' pass. He said at least we'd get what we want at some point if we're patient.
We tried to tell him that we would support him making a stand and doing the right thing rather than the political thing. He did say that it mattered that I and my family were constituents and supported that view, demonstrating how important it is to get face to face with your own Congressmember! This all fits in with what Rangel said to CODEPINK NYC when they met with him a few weeks ago - not encouraging but illuminating in terms of what these "liberal" Democrats are doing behind the scenes. His heart is in the right place, we just need to push him on his methods!