You probably figured we couldn’t do worse than Charles Rangel. You would be wrong:
Stark is next in line for the post in seniority, but his maverick personality had led some to question whether he would get the gavel even on a temporary basis.
The 19-term Democrat has a penchant for making controversial remarks. In 2003, Stark challenged then Rep. Scott McInnis (R-Colo.) to a fight during a Ways and Means Committee hearing, calling him “a fruitcake.” He also said in 2007 that President George W. Bush was amused by the heads of U.S. soldiers getting blown off. Pelosi condemned the remarks and Stark subsequently apologized on the House floor.
Last summer, Stark called Blue Dog Democrats “brain dead.”
According to Michael Barone’s Almanac of American Politics:
[Stark’s] major achievement was the Catastrophic Health Care Act of 1988, which created a new benefit for Medicare recipients, but then was repealed by an overwhelming vote in 1989 after an outpouring of public protest: the problem was that its tax on the high-income elderly was very unpopular while benefits seemed puny.
It’s nice to know that these entitlements can be rolled back if they’re unpopular enough.
You may remember Pete (the larger the national debt, the wealthier we are) Stark from this video:
After some …um… “lively discussions” amongst House Democrats, the Stark appointment has been retracted. Pelosi is replacing him with Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.).