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Shocking bird watching at Charlie Rangel's party

David N. Dinkins, the 106th mayor of New York City, is the consummate gentleman. Always courteous and impeccably dressed, he is grace personified. That’s why I was shocked -- and I mean SHOCKED -- to read this lead in the New York Times story today about Rep. Charles B. Rangel’s birthday last night.

It was a dramatic but fitting start to an evening that brimmed with political defiance. About 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, as guests began strolling into the Plaza Hotel to celebrate Representative Charles B. Rangel’s 80th birthday, former Mayor David N. Dinkins turned to confront a heckler.

“You know you are attending a party for a crook,” the man yelled.

At that, Mr. Dinkins, a paragon of statesmanship and dignity, raised his middle finger at the man, displaying it for all to see, according to witnesses, whose accounts were confirmed by the former mayor.

You can actually see Dinkins flip the one-finger salute in the story aired by New York 1 News.

Joseph Bassolino, the rude dude who elicited the rude gesture from Dinkins, said, “Coming from someone who was a former mayor, you’d think he’d be used to criticism.” He’s right!

Dinkins had a rough four years as mayor. One crisis after another, it seemed, bedeviled the city’s first African American mayor. But at no point -- ever -- did you see him lose his composure, his cool. The only time you saw him raise his hand was when he wiped his sweat-filled brow with his omnipresent handkerchief during a press conference or a speech. We are that much closer to chaos when a man of such dignity loses his trademark reserve over your basic, run-of-the-mill Big Apple heckler.

By Jonathan Capehart  | August 12, 2010; 12:54 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Wow! I didn't now Mayor Dinky Doughnuts was such a cool customer back in the day.

I just thought he was a horrible mayor who made Giuliani look like the second coming.

But I guess it is all about the economy, isn't it stupid?

Maybe that is what is making Professor Obama "look like" such a downright feeble, wretched executive.

Posted by: adamnescot1 | August 12, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Dinkins was so very wrong.

Hollering and name calling is rude, obnoxious and childish. Everyone has a 1st Admendment righ to do so but ask any child - no one pays attention to those who holler and call names. What do parents tell their children "when you calm down we can talk...".

Posted by: rlj1 | August 12, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

The heckler was right, Rangel is a crook.

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | August 12, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Can you believe Sharpton compared Rangel to Jesus Christ?

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | August 12, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

GET OVER YOURSELF ! In this day and age you find that shocking.
War is shocking, not taking care of our own is shocking, the finger is just not shocking unless you are a mean holy roller christian !!

Posted by: honeybee1 | August 13, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I've only been to NYC twice. A neat place, but twice was probably once too much for both myself and the New Yorkers. I kind of admire their jerkiness and their ability to take it as well as dish it out (I'm from milk toast WA State). I'm more offended by the fact there were a zillion consultants and special interests at the party -- which led to so much of the ethical problems. However Capehart is right, if New Yorkers are losing their cool over insults we're all in trouble.

Posted by: Fergie303 | August 13, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

There's a strange sound in the D.C. area and it is getting louder, it seems everyday. Nobody can find out where it is coming from, but it sounds like a huge vacuum, and they say it will be eardrum breaking around November the second. I think it will probably be fix by the third of November though. So until then wear your earplugs because the noise will be getting very loud.

Posted by: annieandpauldonovan | August 13, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Corruption at it's best. What else can one say about the most corrupt government in history. And the ladder goes all the way to the top. It will all be over soon. The parties and stealing will stop after the cleaning crews get though with them. November can not come quick enough. Let's clean down to the bare floors. Elect NO incumbents. New blood is what we need, Statesmen and women, not politicians. People who will defend our Constitution not destroy it. Go America Go vote.

Posted by: annieandpauldonovan | August 13, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Rep. Waters (D.CA) this morning
Took a page out of Rangel's book
Proclaiming from the floor of the House
That she could prove to all she's no crook.

The protestations of Rangel and Waters
Make one wonder how anyone could believe
Two such paragons could have woven tangled webs
Or that for so long the House and the public
By the weaving could have been deceived.

Posted by: Gonzage1 | August 13, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps a run of the mill heckler, but Mayor Dinkins and I see it differently. Charlie Rangel may or may not be a crook; I think he probably is. On the other hand, I won't be allowed to sit on his jury either, and I can form opinions. The last time I checked, everybody is innocent until proven guilty and Charlie Rangel has yet to be proven guilty. I admit that I, too, am surprised at Mayor Dinkins loss of composure. He is the only Democrat I know of that I would consider voting for in a national election. I don't always agree with him, but he appears to be a pragmatic politician who truly tries to do what is best for those who elected him.

Posted by: Isaldur43 | August 13, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

It is another wonderful day in the neighborhood as we can realize all people are created equal, our children are way ahead of so called adults. One day we will realize Government has become a chain and ball around the neck of its citizens,the proof pick any agency and grade its preformance. Then grade any for profit business anywhere in the world. Government never gets better or cheaper, it needs a recession as does the economic community if only to restart after changes. Changes involve the advent of the auto,appliances,to recent communication advances.Government needs to have a recession and that may be coming soon.Germany and other's are realizing the truth of socializm a little is alot too much is destructive to humans..Vote the old out.

Posted by: jmounday | August 14, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Dapehart et al, it seems apparent that if OJ had a birthday party Dinkins and these same guys would attend. Let them be rude and crude, their true colors are bleeding through.

Posted by: bobilly2 | August 15, 2010 7:38 AM | Report abuse

Capehart et al, it seems apparent that if OJ had a birthday party Dinkins and these same guys would attend. Let them be rude and crude, their true colors are bleeding through.

Posted by: bobilly2 | August 15, 2010 7:39 AM | Report abuse

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