Monday, November 15, 2010

Sorry Charlie: Rangel walks out of Committee hearing after being denied an extension

image I caught parts of Congressman Charlie Rangel’s pleas before the House Ethics Subcommittee hearing today.  While I didn’t catch the gavel-to-gavel coverage, the stuff I saw impressed me greatly.

After that performance, Rangel should be nominated for and be a slam dunk to win a Daytime Emmy Award for best dramatic performance for his “Poor Me” Soap Opera shtick.  Nobody does it better.

Immediately after his lamentation that he had no representation, that he was out of money and that life just wasn’t fair, dammit.  He excused himself and left the chamber.

Embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-New York, walked out of his House ethics subcommittee hearing Monday, complaining that he has not had sufficient time to hire a new legal team to respond to corruption allegations.

The subcommittee rejected Rangel's request to delay the hearing until a new defense team is assembled.

Rangel faces 13 allegations, include failing to pay taxes on a home in the Dominican Republic, misuse of a rent-controlled apartment for political purposes and improper use of government mail service and letterhead.

"Fifty years of public service is on the line. And I truly believe that I am not being treated fairly," he declared. "I deserve a lawyer."


Call me unsympathetic.  People in public office misuse their position and power a little bit. It’s human nature, just like everyone traveling on the freeway exceed the speed limit by 5-10 mph, depending on the eagerness of the local constabulary. Just because “everyone does it” doesn’t make it right, but if we had to stop every minor transgression or every technical violation of the rules, whole systems grind to a halt whilst people are charged, tried and penalized. It’s those first class pains in the ass who routinely go 15-20 mph over the limit while weaving through traffic and giving fellow travelers the finger that everyone wants to see get the Blue Light Special.  And, in this case, Rangel’s getting it.

By now, you’ve already seen the pictures of Rangel passed out on the beach. The imagery became the iconic representation of the Harlem Icon.  Shirtless, probably drunk, with not a care in the world except where his next payola was coming from.

Now, he’s mangled his own defense and used money from a prohibited PAC to pay for legal representation, compounding his ethics case with still more ethical lapses.  No one is this stupid, or this arrogant, by accident.

No, this kind of pathetic behavior is a finely honed, well practiced craft. 


Julie Weathers said...

I have zero sympathy for him and why isn't anyone screaming about his raiding that PAC fund?

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