Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Charlie Rangel On The Bubble (Updated) 

As of this writing, Fox News online' s "Breaking News" banner reads, "House Takes Up Resolution Against Charles Rangel: Watch Live."

Mr. Rangel, who apparently lives pretty well but can't remember how he came into so much money, is the poster child for the "rules are for the little people" crowd, and should be removed from his chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee, which is responsible for writing federal tax legislation. He has become an embarrassment to Congress and it will be very telling if the Democrats don't vote him out of his leadership position. What it will tell is that the Democrats are OK with corruption, favoritism and elitism. (I happen to believe that they're OK with those things now, but what they do about Rangel will be hard evidence.)

To paraphrase a high school colleague of mine, "He's chairman of the Ways and Means Committee because he has the meanest ways in Congress." Amen.

The people of the United States deserve better, and should not stand for Mr. Rangel's nonsense a minute longer.

UPDATE 20091007:1122 PDT Resolution Defeated

As I expected, the Dems defeated the resolution.

IIRC, Rangel was elected to the seat of Adam Clayton Powell, who himself was accused of corruption. Here's what Wikipedia says about the end of Mr. Powell's Congressional career:

Following allegations that Powell had misappropriated Committee funds for his personal use and other charges, in January 1967 the House Democratic Caucus stripped Powell of his committee chairmanship. The full House refused to seat him until completion of an investigation by the Judiciary Committee. Powell urged his supporters to "keep the faith, baby" while the investigation went on. On March 1 the House voted 307 to 116 to exclude him. Powell said "On this day, the day of March in my opinion, the end of the United States of America as the land of the free and the home of the brave."[5]

Powell won the special election in April to fill the vacancy caused by his exclusion, but did not take his seat. He sued in Powell v. McCormack to retain his seat. In June 1969 the Supreme Court ruled that the House had acted unconstitutionally when it excluded Powell, a duly elected member. He returned to the House, but without his seniority. Again his absenteeism was increasingly noted.[6]

In June 1970 Powell was defeated in the Democratic primary by Charles B. Rangel. In fall 1970, He failed to get on the ballot for the November election as an Independent. He resigned as minister at the Abyssinian Baptist Church and moved to Bimini. Rangel has continued to represent the district, as of 2009.

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