Distinguished portrait ceremony honors distinguished legislator

Every once in a while you come upon a story which is just so… so… I mean… you can’t possibly be…

Oh, the heck with it. Roll 212!

He may have been censured by his House colleagues, but Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) will have his visage permanently displayed on Capitol Hill.

The House Ways and Means Committee, which Rangel chaired until he lost his gavel following accusations of ethics violations, is hosting a ceremony and reception Thursday to unveil Rangel’s official portrait in Longworth House Office Building.

House leaders including Speaker John Boehner, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer will speak at the ceremony. Two New York senators, Democrats Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, will also give remarks.

(Emphasis mine simply because emphasis was required on this one.)

Given my normal tendency toward snark, sarcasm and generally being a wise-acre, you’d think this story was a custom fit for me. I mean, this is one case where I should be able to pick up the ball and bust out some open field running. But… I can’t. This has blown all the circuit breakers and left my internal wiring a complete mess. Perhaps I can just hand it off to Doug Powers.

It’s probably way too much to hope that the photo being used as the model for Rangel’s portrait is this one, isn’t it? That would be perfect as the inaugural picture in the new “Symbols of the Undrained Swamp” portrait wall in the House.

But at least taxpayers aren’t eating the cost of it, because the estimated $65,000 is coming out of Rangel’s own pocket. Just kidding of course — it’s paid for with his campaign cash.

As if the story wasn’t ridiculous enough to begin with, Doug’s correct. Before they could even have this travesty of a ceremony, Rangel had to go to the FEC and ask permission to pay the tab for commissioning this work of … errr… art, with campaign funds. The FEC responded some time later giving their blessing to the scheme, “noting that the House generally commemorates committee chairs with portraits in their respective hearing rooms and that neither Rangel nor his family would financially profit from the payment of the portrait.

So, in essence, before the FEC could condone the centerpiece of this show honoring the distinguished congressman, they had to go check to make sure it wasn’t some sort of ripoff scheme by him or his family.

The stupid… It hurts us, Precious, it does.