From One Corrupt Congressman to Another
By: Ashvi Pandurangi
Nov 19, 2010
“A chain is no stronger than its weakest link, and life is after all a chain.” -William James
The House Ethics Committee has just voted to confirm there is “clear and convincing” evidence that Charlie Rangel (D-NY) has violated at least eleven different Congressional ethics rules. His violations include failing to pay taxes on his property in the Dominican Republic, illegally transforming a rent-controlled residential apartment into a campaign office and using his status as head of the Ways and Means Committee to secure funds for his public policy center.
What is the punishment recommended by the Commitee for this Congressman’s criminal and unethical behavior? Censure! That’s right folks. Rangel will be forced to stand on the floor of the House in front of his peers, in the narrowest sense of that word, and be lectured to by its Speaker, which will either be Nancy Pelosi or John Boehner depending on the timing.
I’m not sure exactly what the Speaker would say in this censure, which Representative Butterfield (D-NC) had the nerve to label an “extreme” punishment, but rest assured that the following is the gist of the message which will be sent:
“From one corrupt Congressman to another, congratulations on successfully fleecing the American people and abusing their trust for years, without suffering any real consequences for your actions. We could have forced you to resign from Congress, or maybe even subjected you to criminal prosecution for tax fraud, but you and everyone else here knew from day one that would never happen. Drastic measures such as those would threaten to expose the systemic corruption in this institution, and could very well subvert our entire operation!