What's the real story on Rangel?
Now, having read his biography off his own website, we've got more questions than answer.
Rangel has had one honest job in his life, when he was in the United States Army from 1948-1952. His official bio doesn't give many details on that time period other than to state that he was awarded a Bronze Star.
After this, he goes to New York University School of Commerce, graduating in 1957 and St. John’s Law School, graduating with a law degree in 1960. According to his own website, he doesn't work another day in his life, entering politics immediately (or as the website euphemizes, 'public service'). He's been in Congress since 1970.
According to the Bographical Directory of the United States Congress, he does do three years in private practice. I guess that counts as "public service", right? Or maybe one of those two sites is mistaken. Whatever.
He spent four years in the Army, so I assume he voluntarily enlisted rather than being drafted. I can't find a source one way or the other, but my understanding was that draftees were not kept in for four years. In 1948, so he probably assumed he'd do some nice, cushy garrison duty for a couple years in exchange for veteran's benefits. After, no "bright young man" would join to actually fight for bonuses and educational benefits, right?
Either he's an idiot then, or he's an idiot now, but that's just my call.
So he goes to Korea, gets into a sticky situation (anyone got a link to an actual copy of the citation? I can't seem to find it) and does well enough to get noticed by an officer who bothered to write it up. Also manages to stop some shrapnel or a bullet (no details available, that I can find, though one website refers to it as a 'near death experience').
Fastforward 54 years. That's a long time. Did Chuckie forget what it is like? Or is his just prostituting himself for the benefit of his political masters? Or maybe all those years hanging out with other rich liberal lawyers has readjusted his mindset to one in keeping with the "progressive" stance.
Or, quite possibly, Rangel was one of those whiny, annoying know-it-all joes who joined the Army "for the College money" without having the thought occur that maybe, just maybe he might have to earn it. We don't have any of those anymore, but they were fairly common prior to 2001. While, unlike my previous supposition, it appears that when faced with a real situation he did creditably, that sort of attitude looks like it continues to this very day.