By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009 – 2010)
Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone
The headline from the New York Times City Room feature ( by Nicholas Confessore) spoke to the many ethics charges recently lodged against him. The headline read, “Rangel Speaks, and Asks For Time.” The joke is, if you missed it, that I thought he had asked for prison time. Well, fat chance that, he might do the following though:
- Make a deal to plead to one or two reduced charges that might allow him to keep his seat
- Resign if all charges are reduced or dismissed
The problem with those eventualities is that Mr. Rangel has started on his pursuit of escape in the worst possible manner:
In his first news conference since learning his fellow lawmakers would put up him on trial for ethics violations, Representative Charles B. Rangel urged his constituents and the press to be patient, saying he would not address the specifics of the charges against him until the proceedings begin next week.
But Mr. Rangel, who snapped at reporters in Washington on Thursday, appeared determined to strike a softer tone at Friday’s appearance, even offering a public apology to one reporter, Luke Russert, whose question on Thursday — about whether the charges would cost the congressman his job — Mr. Rangel dismissed as “dumb.”
Note the very last word in the quote above … dumb. Dumb is what you call yourself when you do the things for which Mr. Rangel is charged; it is not what you call a reporter, especially when the comment is picked-up for all the world to see. Mr. Rangel, by all accounts, served honorably in the United States Army, even leading his fellow servicemen out of a Chinese encirclement during the Korean War. For that honorable service, he was seriously honored. But now he must seek the next honorable step in his life of 80 years. Is he guilty? Then he should resign and enjoy the rest of his life. Does he know that he is not guilty, then fight hard to win his reputation back. A goal that will be hard because this is not the first time his reputation has shown a shaky facade. We’ll have to see how it all gets fleshed out. We know that the Republicans have made of him an example that will probably force suitable action from the Democratic side of the House of Representatives. How can you ignore:
The charges capped a two-year investigation that forced Mr. Rangel — revered by many people in Harlem — from his powerful perch as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, made him the poster boy for Republican attacks on House Democrats, and drew campaign challenges from several fellow Democrats now eying his seat.
I’m sure the Democrats will recognize the similarity between Mr. Rangel and another war hero. This one a Republican who served in Viet Nam and was confirmed as one of only two Navy flying aces in that conflict. He later served as an instructor in flight combat and a commander of a Naval Fighter Squadron. He eventually ran for congress from California’s 50th Congressional District. His military career was not without controversy and he had some close calls in the disciplinary sense, almost, but not receiving a court-martial after being accused of breaking into a superior officer’s desk to peek into his (Cunningham’s) and his fellow pilots’ service records.
This man was Randall “Duke” Cunningham, who served from California’s 50th Congressional District, and he capped his political career with a somewhat similar series of corrupt events, but at this point (until we have a final tally on Rangel) Cunningham “crooked-out” on a grander scale.
You can read the rest of Rangel’s story referenced above by clicking right here