New York Congressman Charles Rangel is in a bit of hot water with the House Ethics Committee over a string of minor infractions, like tax evasion and misuse of rent control property. You know, stuff that only bothers those nitpickers at the IRS? Well, Rangel's supporters/defenders are saying that we should give Rangel a chance to explain himself in context.
This got me to thinking what the Left means when they talk about context. Usually, they refer to it when they say something stupid and gets caught. They claim "They took that statement out of context" (without ever proving it was taken out of context). Take, for example, their argument in defense of Shirley Sherrod's speech where she admits to being racist initially to a white farmer. They claim Andrew Breitbart and Fox News took the speech out of context to discredit her.
Of course, these same Leftists say nothing about Media Matters, a Leftist website that frequently takes conservatives out of context. And, I'm still waiting for these Leftists to praise Glenn Beck for showing restraint and calling for the speech to be viewed in its full context.
Frankly, Beck is right, but he gets it wrong by assuming the Left has the same commitment to an accurate context as the Right does. The Left believes that reality is subject to their whims, which is why they can disregard the actions of the New Black Panther Party as insignificant while repeating a discredited lie about John Lewis getting spat upon and being called the n-word by TEA Party members. To them, the reality doesn't fit their narrative, so they ignore it. Granted, there are people on the Right who do the same thing (Lindsey Graham comes to mind), but the Left takes self-delusion to an art form. Why?
To protect their fragile egos.
The Left cannot stand being proven wrong about anything, yet they're constantly wrong about just about everything. When they run across someone with even a little knowledge of a subject, they get testy. I ran into this recently with a Leftist who asked me to use the scientific method to show how evolution was not settled science. After I did, he swore at me, insulted me, and generally ignored the fact that I did what he asked and proved him wrong with the very standard he insisted I use.
So, how does that play into the concept of context? When someone can lie about reality, he or she creates a context by which no one but that person can define and apply. In other words, he or she creates a reality that no one else can breach. When that happens, only certain facts are allowed in to be processed while others are disregarded. That's how the Left can blame Fox News for getting Sherrod fired when a) she resigned, and b) Fox News didn't start covering the story until after she resigned.
Now, let's apply this concept to the Rangel situation. When Leftists say they want Rangel to be able to put his actions into the proper context, they mean they want to give him time to come up with a version of reality that diminishes if not excuses what he did and gives his defenders a narrative they can follow to defend him.
And you can bet that Rangel's version of what happened will bear very little resemblance to what actually happened.