Charlie Rangel: censured!
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) always acted like he was in a class by himself. The series of ethics charges against him are testament to that. And moments ago the legendary congressman from Harlem and toppled chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee became the first member of the House of Representatives to be censured in 27 years. He's now the 23rd.
By an overwhelming vote, 333 to 79, Rangel's colleagues added a sad, but necessary, asterisk to his storied career. He and his supporters, most notably fellow New Yorker and Republican Rep. Peter King, tried to make the case that what he did was not on par with the admittedly more serious offenses committed by others who were censured. But that argument didn't hold sway. You can't run the tax writing committee of the Congress and be in violation of the nation's tax laws. And you can't refuse every effort to reach a deal that would have avoided today's spectacle and then pray that your colleagues will have mercy on you as you sit in the well of the House awaiting their verdict.
After a pained reading of the censure resolution against him by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rangel addressed the chamber. "I know in my heart that I'm not going to be judged by this Congress," he said, "but I'm going to be judged by my life." A life that has been a true American success story -- until this moment.
| December 2, 2010; 5:58 PM ET
Categories: Capehart | Tags: Jonathan Capehart
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