Rangel: I gotta fight my way through this …

posted at 3:35 pm on August 10, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

As Charlie Rangel acquired yet another ethics charge against him, he returned to the House floor to make his case for, er, making his case.  Or something like that; by the news reports of Rangel’s floor speech‘, it is difficult to comprehend exactly what he had in mind.  Rangel took a swipe at House leadership for leaving him “swinging in the wind,” but by all accounts, it’s Rangel that wants a trial and not his colleagues:

A combative Rep. Charles Rangel told the House Tuesday he’s not resigning despite 13 charges of wrongdoing and demanded the ethics committee not leave him “swinging in the wind.”

Rangel, who is 80, spoke without notes in an extraordinary, often emotional 37-minute speech that defied his lawyers’ advice to keep quiet about his case. The New York Democrat and 40-year House veteran had a sharp message in dismissing fellow Democrats who — worried about election losses — want him to quit,

“If I can’t get my dignity back here, then fire your best shot in getting rid of me through expulsion,” he said. …

Rangel noted the committee is scheduled to convene Sept. 13, the day before his primary, but that the main part of his ethics trial would not come until later in the fall.

“Don’t leave me swinging in the wind until November,” he demanded.

First, only a select few Democrats have demanded his resignation.  At last count, the Footsteps Caucus amounted to a grand total of eight Democrats, which is about 3.2% of all House Democrats.  None of them are in leadership positions, but all eight of them are facing tough re-election bids against energized Republicans.

Besides, Rangel knows that the House won’t expel him.  The House probably won’t even censure him.  The subcommittee handling the charges was going to recommend a reprimand, the lightest possible punishment, which amounts to a strongly-worded memo.  It has no consequences beyond a scolding and, presumably, some embarrassment for the officeholder, although in Rangel’s case that seems highly doubtful.  And that was their recommendation without cutting a deal with Rangel.

Democratic leadership would love nothing more than to cut a deal with Rangel to make it go away, one that would allow him to hold onto his seat.  Rangel, for some reason, wants to press the case much more than anyone on the Ethics Committee does, perhaps in an effort to get the panel to retreat and allow him to claim vindication in his primary fight.  Rangel’s speech is nothing but grandstanding, and expensive grandstanding at that.  Mediaite, which has the entire video, calls it “political theater,” and they’re right:

The term “political theater” gets thrown around a lot, but that was exactly what happened on the House floor today. In a moment so unexpected the cable news networks seemed caught off guard (until they all went wall-to-wall), Rep. Charlie Rangel spoke for more than 20 minutes about his pending ethics trial.

It was a rant that slammed everyone from House Democrats to Pres. Barack Obama – and he promised not to go away anytime soon.

Chuck Todd wasn’t impressed:

And to tie this to yesterday’s crazy story of the dayChuck Todd wondered on MSNBC if Rangel “found inspiration in that JetBlue flight attendant or something.”

Robert Costa reports that Rangel plans to send a bill to his colleagues:

Rangel also noted that he expects Democratic leaders to help him with attorneys’ fees once he runs out of money.

Yes, because the one thing we’ve learned about Rangel through these disclosures is that he has a money problem.  Well, he does.  He has a lot more of it than he declared in his filings.  In a reality-based setting, that claim may be the emptiest threat of all.

Update (AP): Here’s the video. If you’re not inclined to devote 27 minutes to watching him rant, CNN has the key 80 seconds in a separate clip. A snippet from Rasmussen’s eye-popping new poll to meditate on while you watch: “A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 70% of U.S. voters believe most members of Congress are willing to sell their vote for cash or a campaign contribution. That’s a 14-point increase from three years ago.”

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Rangel: “I am not going away.”

Please, PLEASE don’t.

Mike Honcho on August 10, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Who wants butter on their popcorn?

Laura in Maryland on August 10, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Michel Faulkner NY-15

tetriskid on August 10, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Let’s start the moneybomb for his defense. It will be worth every penny!

Laura in Maryland on August 10, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Keep talking Congressman, you are doing a fine job.

Skandia Recluse on August 10, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Fight the Man!

LincolntheHun on August 10, 2010 at 3:40 PM

At the end of the rant, he grabbed a couple of bottles of vodka and slid down the inflatable slide hidden under the lectern.

Monica on August 10, 2010 at 3:41 PM

70% of U.S. voters believe most members of Congress are willing to sell their vote for cash or a campaign contribution.

“Most” of Congress are presently Democrats and all of them are corrupt.

Throw every Democrat out of Congress, bodily if necessary.

NoDonkey on August 10, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Laura in Maryland on August 10, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Yes, please. :)

ladyingray on August 10, 2010 at 3:42 PM

………….0
………../|\
…….tar | feathers
………….^
.
Let’s get started!
(Dang! how do I keep the spaces from collapsing in my comment??)

common sensineer on August 10, 2010 at 3:44 PM

I hope Maxine “let’s nationalize the oil companies” Waters fights too.

Fight on democrats!

darwin on August 10, 2010 at 3:44 PM

UGH. Sorry for the craptastic ASCII art.

common sensineer on August 10, 2010 at 3:44 PM

If his appearance doesn’t scream “Culture of Corruption” nothing does.

InterestedObserver on August 10, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Hey Charlie, can you keep this going from now until about January 4? I’d like to see your sentencing done by the NEXT class of Congress instead of this one.

teke184 on August 10, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Term limits now! Ten terms for Congress and three terms for Senate is more than enough. Beyond that power becomes entrenched and the office morphs from a temporary public trust into a personal entitlement as Rep. Rangel and others have displayed. It is not a right/left thing; its a human nature thing.

RobCon on August 10, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Don’t let Cholly swing in the wind Demrats he deserves a fair and speedy trial.

Cholly demand they start as soon as they get back from their vacations. They aren’t doin a budget or passin any meaningful bills NOW is the time for a full and fair hearing and let those without guilt cast the first stone.

hang in there Cholly your no more corrupt than the rest.

Fight Cholly fight!

dhunter on August 10, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Support Michel Faulkner against Rangel in NY-15.

tetriskid on August 10, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Hey Charlie, can you keep this going from now until about January 4? I’d like to see your sentencing done by the NEXT class of Congress instead of this one.

teke184 on August 10, 2010 at 3:45 PM

Thats’ why he wants a speedy Whitewash, er trial, that and /or they haven’t ponied up enough walkin away cash.

the corruptocrat is shakin down the House for hush money else he spills the beans on 40 years of corruption.

Charlie has em by the short hairs and is pullin!

dhunter on August 10, 2010 at 3:48 PM

Oh YES, Charlie. Keep fighting.

HornetSting on August 10, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Another poster child for term limits.

Cody1991 on August 10, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Look at the bright side, Charlie Rangel did introduce H.R.5741: Universal National Service Act, otherwise known as a military/civilian draft law, just 4 weeks ago. Such a parting gift should not be ignored.

J_Crater on August 10, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Dead tuna.

“Sorry, Charlie!”

mojo on August 10, 2010 at 3:55 PM

Look at the bright side, Charlie Rangel did introduce H.R.5741: Universal National Service Act, otherwise known as a military/civilian draft law, just 4 weeks ago. Such a parting gift should not be ignored.

J_Crater on August 10, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Doesn’t he do this EVERY session? I remember when the Republicans put his 2004 version up for a vote on short notice after a bunch of Dem pandering to young voters claiming Bush would re-institute the draft just so they could soundly defeat it.

teke184 on August 10, 2010 at 3:57 PM

The dem house is afraid of getting rid of him because they know he can take them down with him, He can rat them all out.

jaboba on August 10, 2010 at 3:57 PM

“If I can’t get my dignity back here”

??

I hope he’s thrown out. This is the swamp.

disa on August 10, 2010 at 3:57 PM

“I wish we could all quit our jobs like that,” said passenger Phil Catelinet, 36, of Brooklyn, who was on the [JetBlue]flight and the AirTrain.
“He seemed kind of happy about it. He was like, ‘I just quit my job.’ ”

Port Authority police said it took jetBlue 25 minutes to report the incident, allowing Slater time to leave the scene.

Cops found him in bed with his boyfriend when they arrived to arrest him at a beachfront home in the Rockaways with a porch overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, sources said.

He boasted to skeptical cops that he really did escape by chute with his carry-on luggage.

“Oh, yes, I did! I threw them down first and I went down after,” he told cops, sources said.

He was grinning as police walked him in handcuffs to a squad car. “He left with a big smile on his face,” said neighbor Curt Karkowski.

AOSHQ.

If any member of Congress found, as “Chuck Todd wondered on MSNBC if Rangel ‘found inspiration in that JetBlue flight attendant or something,’” it would more likely have been Barney Frank.

Wethal on August 10, 2010 at 3:59 PM

The ACME Rope Company is proud to announce,that
since CorruptoDemocrats insist on hanging them
selves,and don’t know when to quit, a special
delivery is on the way to wrangle Rangel himself!!
(snark).

canopfor on August 10, 2010 at 4:00 PM

I caught this live on tv this morning (Hawaii time). I thought it was a fun way to start the day.

HawaiiLwyr on August 10, 2010 at 4:01 PM

He really should quote Kipling’s “If” for dramatic emphasis.

Disturb the Universe on August 10, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Meanwhile……….

Barney Frank sends his support,and tells Rangle,
keep bang’n away!!!!(sarc).

canopfor on August 10, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Thats’ why he wants a speedy Whitewash, er trial, that and /or they haven’t ponied up enough walkin away cash.

the corruptocrat is shakin down the House for hush money else he spills the beans on 40 years of corruption.

Charlie has em by the short hairs and is pullin!

dhunter on August 10, 2010 at 3:48 PM

If he pulls a little too hard, could it cause an illness related death?
You know, like John Murtha, Robert Byrd . . .

listens2glenn on August 10, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Just go away, you arrogant prick!

rightside on August 10, 2010 at 4:04 PM

bovine excrement… to the very last.

whiskeytango on August 10, 2010 at 4:06 PM

Rangel:
“If I can’t get my dignity back here, then fire your best shot in getting rid of me through expulsion,” he said. …

Dignity and Rangel do NOT belong in the same sentence.

onlineanalyst on August 10, 2010 at 4:08 PM

BTW Attaboys(gals) to the GOP members who didn’t agree to the Plea Deal!!!

(of course Rangel could be lying about that.)

barnone on August 10, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Boy,he’s covering everything from A to Z!!

canopfor on August 10, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Rangel knows he could strangle a Girl Scout on the House floor and not get expelled…or even censured. He do it too…but only if they stopped giving him free boxes of Thin Mints.

Justrand on August 10, 2010 at 4:10 PM

Harlots are more honest than most Congresscritters.

Obama is rogue.
Congress is rogue.

Nov. can’t arrive soon enough.

Schadenfreude on August 10, 2010 at 4:11 PM

Sounds like the Liberal’s want this to go away,till
after November!!!

canopfor on August 10, 2010 at 4:12 PM

It’s hilarious to see liberals’ cultivation of black victimhood coming back to bite them. He he he.

year_of_the_dingo on August 10, 2010 at 4:12 PM

If I hear Dignity one more time!

canopfor on August 10, 2010 at 4:12 PM

When a man who is 80 years old is unwilling to pack it in after so many, let’s say, bad decisions, you move beyond simple corruption to full blown psychosis. Chuckles, it’s time to go home now.

teacherman on August 10, 2010 at 4:14 PM

awwwww, Cholly….gonna hafta get drug kickin’ and screamin’ away from the public teat, eh?

ted c on August 10, 2010 at 4:18 PM

teacherman on August 10, 2010 at 4:14 PM

Nope he’s not nuts he’s Right. He deserves a speedy and fair Whitewash, er, trial NOW! Before the next congress is lected else those racist Repubs might be in control and fine him $200.00 and tell hime to not pass go!

He deserves to face his accusers before his re-election and to be exonerated so he can continue to fleece , er serve the people he writes tax laws for that he does not follow.
Charlie deserves a speedy trial NOW!

dhunter on August 10, 2010 at 4:20 PM

If I can’t get my dignity back here

We can’t find it anywhere? Are you sure it is somewhere?

antisocial on August 10, 2010 at 4:20 PM

After 40 years in that whore house…

… Rangel probably has enough dirt on fellow Democrats to fill the Grand Canyon.

Seven Percent Solution on August 10, 2010 at 4:21 PM

The subcommittee handling the charges was going to recommend a reprimand, the lightest possible punishment, which amounts to a strongly-worded memo.

Memo to Rangel: Let Bernie Madoff Tim Geithner Tony Rezko Alfred E. Neuman do your accounting.

Rovin on August 10, 2010 at 4:22 PM

I gotta put up a fight before I lose.

CynicalOptimist on August 10, 2010 at 4:23 PM

ramblin’ man

cmsinaz on August 10, 2010 at 4:24 PM

onlineanalyst on August 10, 2010 at 4:08 PM

you ain’t kidding

cmsinaz on August 10, 2010 at 4:40 PM

70% of U.S. voters believe most members of Congress are willing to sell their vote for cash or a campaign contribution. citizens don’t show up to vote on election day.

elderberry on August 10, 2010 at 4:46 PM

What Charlie needs to do is call out Nanzi on the floor of the House and claim he hasn’t done anything that she hasn’t.

d1carter on August 10, 2010 at 4:46 PM

He’s just fighting for his right to (the) party.

BVM on August 10, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Rush Limbaugh was doing an imitation of Charlie today, quite a good one. He does the best Clinton I’ve heard.

slickwillie2001 on August 10, 2010 at 4:49 PM

What? He doesn’t expect the K Street lobbyists to pay for his defense?

The OUTRAGE!!

Khun Joe on August 10, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Isn’t this how Joseph McCarthy sounded at the end?

If not McCarthy, then Rangel’s reminding more and more of George Costanza with each passing day.

I hope Maxine “let’s nationalize the oil companies” Waters fights too.

Fight on democrats!

darwin on August 10, 2010 at 3:44 PM

I saw something on CNN this afternoon. She was flapping her gums over a telephone line to Roland Martin (on his radio show, I think). She’s not backing down either.

Rangel and Waters: two kamikaze pilots turned around and headed for the U.S.S. Democratic Party.

BuckeyeSam on August 10, 2010 at 5:14 PM

Rangel knows the location of every body that has been buried for the last forty years.

If the Dems ain’t payin’, he ain’t goin. And if they even think about shuffling him off in ignominy, as berri said, encouraging him to “retire with dignity”, he’ll take as many with him as he can. Unless, as I said, they be payin’.

tigerlily on August 10, 2010 at 5:43 PM


most members of Congress are willing to sell their vote for cash or a campaign contribution.


And your point is?

chickasaw42 on August 10, 2010 at 5:44 PM

Sorry Charlie DLTDHYITA

IowaWoman on August 10, 2010 at 6:52 PM

HEY RANGEL, SHUT YO MOUTH BOY!

BobAnthony on August 11, 2010 at 7:24 AM