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Posted at 8:32 AM ET, 11/29/2010

Charlie Rangel doesn't know when to quit

By Jonathan Capehart

I almost spit out my leftover stuffing when I read the convenient leak (no, not that one) that Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) intends to ask the House Ethics Committee to slap him with a "reprimand" instead of the more serious "censure." The guy is determined to shred what little remains of his tattered dignity.

There is a difference between reprimand and censure with censure meted out for the most serious offenses. Rangel, forever full of high self-regard, contends that he doesn't deserve to lumped in with crooks and criminals. And while even the committee's chief counsel gave him a rhetorical "get out of jail free" card by saying he didn't think the Harlem congressman was corrupt, the committee did note that "the cumulative nature of his offenses" pushed it to slap the former chair of Ways and Means with censure. It made the right decision.


Rangel's latest maneuver is yet another attempt to put off the inevitable. A reprimand is just a vote and probably a blurb in the next day's news briefs. But censure requires the accused to stand in the well of the House while he is admonished by the Speaker and the resolution against him is read in the chamber. Rangel loves the House and its role in a democracy he helped to defend. That's why censure would be the ultimate indignity for a man who placed himself on such a high pedestal within it. But cry me a river on that one. He only has himself to blame.

Rangel had the chance earlier this year to cut a deal to avoid this shameful public spectacle. Instead, he opted to play cat and mouse with the committee. In fact, during a press conference in August, Rangel boldly declared, "I'm not asking for leniency." Such tactics worked for him in the past. Not anymore. The cat is now mouse, crushed in a trap of his own making.

By Jonathan Capehart  | November 29, 2010; 8:32 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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I agree with Ben Stein:

Ben Stein: Charlie Rangel Still a Hero to Me
Says Korean War Exemplar Was Censured for Almost Nothing

All these other pundits think if they wave a wand we will go along with their tracery of inuendo and mirrors.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | November 29, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

It pains us law abiding, tax paying, hard working citizens to hear "poor ole Charlie" wallowing before his peers as his wrist is being slapped harder than he thinks it should, while in our world, we would already be prodded to pay our taxes, or face a jail sentence.

Oh, and by the way, hearing about how much he sacrificed in "serving his country", by living the "life of Riley" as a Congressman just doesn't cut it either. If the committee goes along with Charlie, then this means that he has a lot of dirt on the others. Let's investigate the rest of them.

Posted by: barrysal | November 29, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Rangel called the tune and now should pay the fiddler.

Perhaps a civil trial should be prosecuted and all evidence made public, with Rangel defending against the charges? We need more than his word that he is innocent. Otherwise, man-up and accept the censure of your peers.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | November 29, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

The fact that he says what he did was not corrupt means that he still doesn't get it. Oh, the horror of it - he has to stand in front of a bunch of guys and be told 'you are a bad boy!' Call out the antitorture squad. He still gets to keep his secret money accounts down in the islands and he still gets to be called Congressman. And that is the true shame for this country.

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | November 30, 2010 5:50 AM | Report abuse

Mr Capehart; all,

IF you/i/anyone (who is an ordinary citizen, rather than one of "the rulers") had done exactly the SAME things that Rangel DID, we would be in federal PRISON, probably for 20 or more years.

but of course "poor 'ole charlie" is a DIMocRAT CROOK & a member-in-goodstanding of "the good 'ole boys club", so the LAWS do NOT apply to him. = DIMocRATS make me GAG.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | November 30, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

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