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Rangel's temporary leave needs to be permanent

“I have, this morning, sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi asking her to grant me a leave of absence until such time as the Ethics Committee completes its work,” said Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) in announcing his temporary leave of the powerful chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee. It's about time.

Pelosi promised to drain the swamp of corruption in the House that grew under Republican leadership. But when Rangel's own flagrant disregard for that noble goal became painfully apparent almost two years ago, Pelosi went mute. I don't need to recount the list of outrages that make up the brief against Rangel. You can read them here. As Ruth Marcus writes today, the admonition of Rangel this week by the ethics committee for accepting corporate-sponsored junkets was a wrist-slap. Who knows when further action will be taken. "[The ethics committee] tends to be sluggish in its work and supine in its conclusions," Marcus wryly noted. What I do know is that Rangel's "leave of absence" from the helm of Ways and Means must become permanent.

By Jonathan Capehart  | March 3, 2010; 10:09 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Hopefully the voters back home will wise up and retire this crook.

Posted by: FLvet | March 3, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Stuff like this makes it annoying to be a Democrat. This guy thinks it's OK to abuse his power for personal gain. He also committed tax fraud. Not only does he need to resign the chairmanship, he needs to resign his seat. This is the kind of crap I expect from Republicans, not Democrats.

Posted by: ThomasFiore | March 3, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Just another reason why the time for Congressional Term Limits has come!!!!!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | March 3, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Yeah I love the way Charlie thinks HE gets to decide what his punishment should be and when HE will come back... From what I read about him I believe the question should be why isn't this guy if guility facing jail time???

Posted by: sovine08 | March 3, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

As I have posted before, it must take a village to drain a (Democratic) swamp.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | March 3, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

The insane are running the asylum. Hang in there Charlie, we will need you again when more money needs to go missing.

Posted by: nyx567 | March 3, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

What this should be about is Pelosi. She is quick to condemn the CIA for its tactics and claim she had no idea what they were doing, but when it's one of her cronies acting on no one's authority but his own, she looks the other way. Let's sweep that corruption under the rug, therefore it doesn't exist, right? She has no backbone.

Posted by: Shardax | March 3, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

This guy doesn't even have the decency to own up to the responsibility of a staffer's presumed mistake. Our congressional leaders should have a "the buck stops with me" attitude -- even Obama has gotten wise to this.

Of course, with arrogant, self-entitled relics like Rangel, the staffer is clearly just a sacrificial lamb -- no doubt in my mind Rangel knew about the improprieties and is now instructing the staffer to take the fall.

Posted by: herringtown | March 3, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

To Mr. Thomas Fiore: As much as I dislike Rangel, it's a cheap shot to say you expect this crap from Republicans. Ecperience has shown us that all parties are susceptible to corruption. No one party (race, gender, etc.) has a monopoly on bad behavior. By definition, if you're a human being, you're susceptible.

Posted by: DaveHagigh | March 3, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

He shouldn't be retired - he should be CONFINED in a jail cell.

They need to dig deep, get the goods, and put an end to the foolishness that always follows Rangel around.

Posted by: postfan1 | March 3, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Charlie Rangel may be a cheat, he may be guilty of tax fraud, he may be guilty of ripping off poor African-American people with his 4 rent-controlled apartments, he may be guilty of other ethics violations and violations of his reporting obligations, but remember that Charlie is one of the founders of the Congressional Black Caucus and any criticism of him is just racist. Forget that people like Nixon, Gingrich, Livingstone, Foley, DeLay, Sptizer, and Alan Hevesi (all white) resigned when confronted with serious charges, any call for Charlie Rangel to resign is just racist.

Posted by: JamesSmith1 | March 3, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

America thankfully is living in a post-racial period in which race and sex no longer holds a person back. But people do a great disservice to the legacy of the Civil Rights movement when they cry "racism" to whitewash the misdeeds of a person of serious deficient character like Charlie Rangel. It's not the man's color, it's his criminal behavior!

Posted by: hokie92 | March 3, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

rangle is a discrase to the human race.he should be in a federal pen but the dems keep- protecting him and frank.they are poster boys for what is wrong with washington.

Posted by: dagner49 | March 3, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

There should be no question about Charlie Rangel stepping down. He should be removed and charged. This a a very good time to call for one term limits on senators and congresmen.

Posted by: janiceyd | March 3, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Well said. Charlie Rangel's departure is long overdue and it should be permanent. Nancy Pelosi criticized Republicans over ethics violations but has remained silent over Rangel. It has damaged her politically. As the old expression goes: "The silence has been deafening."

Posted by: pjsilva | March 3, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Mr ThomasFiore:

Are you able to give an example of a Republican currently serving that has the same type of tax problems and who has been caught with his hand in the cookie jar like Mr Rangel?

Posted by: MiguelinHouston | March 3, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Bye Bye Charlie, all of the people hope you are only the first of many many more.
In fact who isn't rotten to the core, that is a career politician today?

Phone book names elected would at least kill the career and make it 6 years with no other service offered, no retirement plans , and send the Congress and House to shop the streets with us to get a feel for the small corrections needed out there in each State's Departments of insurance.

Posted by: dottydo | March 3, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Capehart, who the heck are you to ask for anybody's resignation? You are a token \ on this paper, and you push yourself on the msnbc network, hoping to grab some cash and renown. But you are not profitable, no one reads you, and no one cares about your writing. I have never heard anyone mention you or quote you, in fact the last time anyone did from the Post was when the columnist who died last year worked there, he at least had charisma and no fear. You, however, are trying to ingratiate yourself, and instead, the public has no notice of you. My advice, don't quit that night job at the hotel. Baggage handling is an honorable profession.

Posted by: lorenzo2121 | March 3, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Charlie Rangel is not only a liability to the party he is a total embarrassment to us. Why the leadership insists on keeping him as the Chair of any governing function is beyond belief. He is a terrible example of a good Democrat. He should not be recalled as the Ways and Means Chair ever!

Posted by: npsilver | March 4, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

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