Charlie Rangel to the Democrats: "You're not going to tell me to resign to make you feel comfortable"


The Washington Post's Dana Milbank provides all sorts of great details from embattled New York Congressman Charlie Rangel's rambling and pugnacious self-defense yesterday afternoon before the House:

The gentleman from New York sought recognition to deliver, without warning, one of the most extraordinary pieces of political oratory in recent memory. Facing a trial before the House Ethics Committee, he gave a rambling, 30-minute speech attacking the committee, the Republicans, his fellow Democrats and even his own lawyers. It was less of a floor speech than a primal scream directed at those who say he should resign, or cut a deal with the committee, to spare his party a political debacle in November.

"Hey, if I was you, I may want me to go away too," he told his colleagues, referring to his ethics problems as a "so-called" scandal. "I am not going away. I am here."

How did Rangel's friends on the left respond?

Midway through the diatribe, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi left her seat and walked to the back of the chamber. When Rangel finally finished, a few dozen Democrats—mostly members of the black caucus, New Yorkers and liberals—stood to applaud. Most Democrats—including Rep. David Obey (Minn.), the man who was leading the teachers-and-cops bill on the floor—sat in silence. Democratic members, approached by reporters for comment as they left the chamber, looked stricken….

"What speech?" asked Rep. Steve Cohen.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz merely rolled her eyes and shook her head.

Why not watch it for yourself:

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  1. Delicious!

    Shorter Rangel: “I’ll give you my power when you take it from my cold, dead hands.”

    1. Rangel took shrapnel in Korea. Does Obama really think he’s scared of the Democratic Party’s leadership?

  2. My brother, let’s be fair. I’m providing you with the opportunity to go head to head with the state’s attorney in a case that’s going to be front page news. For all that profile? Sheeee-it, partner, you should be paying me a fee. Seriously, dog, for twenty thousand cash to my campaign committee, I’ll get myself indicted federal, let you go to trial on that. Beat the feds like a stepchild and really make a name for yourself. Fuck you? Naw, son, I’m going to make you. Motherfuckers going to be wiping their ass with Johnnie Cochran’s memory and carrying your business card in every damn pocket before we done.

    1. Charlie “Clay” Rangel. Is anyone surprised?

      1. But will his trial go down like Clay Davis’s?

        1. And will he teach us the classics?

          “Prommuh-thus Bound”

          1. “A-silly-us”

            Just…wow. Interesting plot summary/interpretation as well. Who says these guys aren’t qualified for real jobs?

      2. Well, a little. Given that he got the seat because Adam Clayton Powell got caught with his hand in the cookie jar, you’d think he’d be careful to avoid the same fate. I thought the same thing about Chris Dodd, given that his father went down for real estate shenanigans. Shows you how naive I am, I guess.

  3. Term limits would solve Charlie Rangels.

      1. I think you mean 535.

        1. Well, unless you’re counting the president and Supreme Court justices.

    1. But it would create the problem of limiting choice.

      1. Whose choice?

        1. Why, the electorate’s choice.

          1. Why doesn’t that argument work equally for the office of President?

            The people can choose to limit terms of Congress-critters, just like they did for the office of the President.

            1. It does. The choice is indeed limited. For example, if hell froze over and a libertarian-leaning republican was elected twice, and the veep was a neo-con just there to “win California” or some shit – I would prefer to choose the outgoing pres for the nomination.

              As a real-life example, I would have preferred a third Reagan term to a GHWB presidency.

              I think term limits are a poor solution… limit the power, not the people.

              1. Power corrupts. Limit the time spent in the swamp, limit the corruption. When Congresscrap can’t be re-elected, they won’t be constantly campaigning, and giving away other people’s money to get the necessary votes.

                1. Your statement makes it sound like these idiots go to Washington clean and pure and then get corrupted. I think they bring at least a little corruption with them.

                  I’d rather be able to continually re-elect a worthy rep than make Rangel’s district send a new asshole every 2 years. What is more necessary is a means by which their legislation can be nullified as easily as it’s created or for their power to be drastically reduced.

                  1. I’d rather be able to continually re-elect a worthy rep


                  2. The new guys don’t know how to steal quite as efficiently as the old hands.

                    Incompetence and inexperience are virtues if you’re talking about thieves.

    2. Doesn’t solve the problem of electing people who are, by nature, politicians. I prefer allotment as a solution, at least for Representatives.

  4. Nemesis comes for Charlie Rangel.

  5. He should cuss out Congress, grab two beers, deploy the Capitol escape chute, and leave.


      1. I usually don’t give a shit about the latest media frenzy, but I really enjoy this story. And it seems to just get better with each new thing we learn.

        1. Now he’s a “media hero.” Something like 100,000 “followers” on Facebook, which makes me wonder, What the fuck is wrong with you people?!

          1. What? You’ve never seen that crowd that chants ‘Jump! Jump!’?

        2. This works only if we can hit him on the head with a blunt instrument first, like a harp.

  6. How is it that white boys like Chris Dodd never get tried for ethics violations but somehow Rangel and Waters do right when Obama’s approval ratings with whites is at 38%?

    Rangel is guilty as hell. But he is not the only one. And the fact that him and Walters are the only two that just happened to get tried in the August before a midterm election when the Democrats are about to get killed, really kind of stinks.

    1. I see where your going with this.

      Tony, whats your take?

      1. Your-you’re. Jesus.

        1. your jesus, you’re jesus!?

          1. what about my jesus?

            1. Your own, personal, Jesus?

      2. Racists.

    2. Jim Traficant? John Murtha? All the R’s who went down with Abramoff?

      1. John Murtha beat his rap and continued to plunder for 30 more years.

        1. Are you saying they were lying in “Charlie Wilson’s War” when they said Murtha was innocent?

      2. And sure the Rs went down. But that doesn’t count. No question that Democrats will gladly go after a Republican black or white. But why do they seem to have such a problem going after white guys on their side?

        And the ABSCAM case was 30 years ago. Did they ever bring charges against Murtha other than that?

        1. Rahm “Deadfish” Emanuel’s little tickle buddy was a white guy, right?

        2. Yes. He was not run out of Congress, but he was charged. Traficant was expelled. The Rs were in power when they took deals or chose not to run for re-election, which Rangel was offered.

    3. Didn’t you get the memo? Democrats are racist hypocrites who tolerate blacks in their midst so long as they act white and stay out of trouble. Dodd and Frank are great men, subject to a different standard.

      1. Go over to some “black” forums. The theory going around is:

        The Dems know they are looking at a November massacre (various theories as to why – you can guess them). These prosecutions are a pre-emptive “We didn’t lose becuase we passed wildly unpopular bills and ran the country into the economic pit. We lost becuase of the corrupt negros and affirmative action (see Sen. Webb and LATimes anti-affirmative action opeds).”

        1. If Obama goes down, I wonder what black people are going to think of the Democratic Party? He is there guy. They are not going to abandon him. If he gets a primary challenge or ends up losing the election in 2012 and the white left keep bitching about not getting their pony, I wonder how that will play out.

          1. I have a feeling that blacks who are actually active in politics have even stronger buyers’ remorse about Obama than the general population.

            I remember reading somewhere that when the Dodgers were looking for a black player to break the color ban in baseball, they were very careful to find someone who would be an immediate superstar in the majors. Breaking the color ban with a mediocre black player would have been devastating to the cause of integrating the sport.

            Obama is a lot less like Jackie Robinson than a utility infielder for the Homestead Grays.

            1. Of course, Robinson turned out to be anything but a star when called up, being a slightly above-average batter in terms of the entire ML but below-average in context of his position (first base, where he turned in a dreadful defensive performance as a rookie, as well).

              Obama isn’t all that unlike Robinson in the sense that, upon taking the field as President, he turned out to be decidedly unlike the star he was promoted as being. of course, he didn’t have the fall-back position of having been outstanding before making the bigs, having had little to show for his time in the Senate aside from the amount of time he didn’t actually spend there.

              Jackie did eventually wind up doing very well for half a decade once he figured out what he was doing in Brooklyn. The chances of Barack doing the same, though…

        2. That’s some paranoid shit. So, the same party that elected the country’s first black president is prosecuting blacks to energize its base. Riiiight.

          I guess that’s a hypothesis more easily believed than the fact that blacks aren’t relevant other than when they’re voting team blue en masse.

          1. Not energize its base. But to prove to white independents that they are still with them.

            1. Oh, that’s right! I forgot the tea parties are racist, etc.

          2. Well, if the Democratic leaders

            A) Are craven, soulless, and/or power-mad


            B) Honestly believe their dropping approval is due to latent racism rather than their bullshit policies

            Then it actually makes sense.

            1. I can’t see how a and b are not pretty self evident.

              1. No, most Democrats — while certainly craven, soulless, and power-mad — know that their dropping approval has nothing to do with racism. They know this the same way that most Republicans know that gay marriage really isn’t that big of a deal.

                Fuckin’ politics.

    4. I’ll agree this much: Every single dirty politician should be on trial right this minute.

      But I’m not buying the racism angle on Rangel and Waters. Nice try, though.

      1. I don’t know if I buy it myself. But it is suspicious. And it is the kind of thing that if the Republicans were doing it, the Democrats would have kittens. So I think given that, the Democrats ought to have to explain why the only two people they could find worthy of corruption charges in Congress just happen to be two of the most high profile black members of Congress.

        1. I know, in this politically-correct mess of a world, it’s hard to believe black people are capable of committing crime… but they are. And these two members of the Gang of 535 are criminals – but, then again, so are virtually every other politician.

          1. Of course they are guilty. But they are no more guilty than Chris Dodd or Barney Frank. And we have known about those guys’ crimes for years. And they are not going to trial. It is not the prosecution that is the problem. It is the selective prosecution. How about going after some friends of Angelo?

        2. There are two white reps (I forget who) that are being investigated by the House Ethics Committee. They just haven’t been charged yet.

    5. Dirty White Boy

      Hey baby if you’re feelin’ down
      I know what’s good for you all day

      Are you worried what your friends see?
      Will it ruin your reputation lovin’ me?

      ‘Cause I’m a dirty white boy
      Yeah a dirty white boy
      A dirty white boy

      Don’t drive no big black car
      Don’t like no Hollywood movie star

      You want me to be true to you
      You don’t give a damn what I do to you

      I’m just a dirty white boy
      Dirty white boy, dirty white boy
      Dirty white boy, dirty white boy
      Dirty white boy

      Well I’m a dirty white boy
      Dirty white boy, dirty white boy
      Dirty white boy, yeah, dirty white boy
      A dirty white boy

      I’ve been in trouble since I don’t know when
      I’m in trouble now and I know somehow I’ll find trouble again

      I’m a loner but I’m never alone
      Every night I get one step closer to the danger zone

      ‘Cause I’m a dirty white boy
      Dirty white boy, yeah, dirty white boy
      Dirty white boy, I’m a dirty white boy
      Dirty white boy

      C’mon, c’mon boy
      Dirty white boy, white boy
      Dirty white boy, I’m a dirty white boy
      Dirty white boy

      Hey I’m a dirty white boy
      Dirty white boy, yeah, I’m a dirty white boy
      (Dirty white boy) boy, dirty white boy, yeah

    6. Uh, what about that white guy that Michelle Malkin is always ranting about? The Republican?

  7. Rangel should have brought a whippy walking stick with him, for emphasis.

  8. Yesterday in an afternoon nap I dreamed that Mr. Rangel was playing defensive tackle on a team I was coaching against. I remember recognizing some other opponents on defense, but none of them were politicians or otherwise prominent persons.

    1. Things like that happen when I fall asleep with the radio on after thinking about doing something (in this case coaching children in football). Things mix.

      Anyway, Rangel turned out to have no chance of chasing a play down from behind.

      1. Totally off subject, I once had a dream that I was a member of a team of crime fighting superheroes, a team otherwise comprised of the members of the Clash. The whole dream was in some highly stylized seventies influenced animation clearly drawn from the cover art of the soundtrack album from The Harder They Come.

        Charlie Rangel, however, was nowhere in sight.

        1. Rangel as Johnny Too Bad might have worked though, at least if he lost a couple hundred pounds.

  9. The gentleman from New York sought recognition to deliver, without warning, one of the most extraordinary pieces of political oratory in recent memory.

    Really? The guy in the political apocalyptic sandwich board downtown near Bush Stadium has better political oratories. Plus he is more coherent and entertaining.

  10. “You’re supposed to be my friends and allies. You want to take me down? I’ll make sure the Democrat majority goes down with me. Yeah, YOU! Queen Nancy. I see you hiding in the back of the chamber. You want to drain the swamp? Why is it your ethics committee is only hunting the endangered species of the rare black alligators?”

    1. I am thinking oh Charlie knows where a few bodies are buried. I hope he doesn’t go quietly.

      1. What, like he’s going to shoot up the capital and say it was because of racism? Or are we back to the escape chute plan?

        1. TOO SOON!!!!!

  11. I suspect Rangel is so far gone he honestly does not believe he has done anything wrong. The Sergeant at Arms should just throw a net over him.

    1. “I suspect Rangel is so far gone he honestly does not believe he has done anything wrong.”

      If so, that makes him one of 535. Do they make nets that big?

    2. Throw a net? You fucking racist.

      1. You know who else threw nets?

        1. Gladiators?

    3. The Sergeant at Arms has the authority to net congresscritters?

      Holy shit the Sergeant at Arms gets a net?

      That’s awesome.

    4. I suspect Rangel is so far gone he honestly does not believe he has done anything wrong.

      This is actually quite close to the truth, I think. It’s not that he doesn’t think he did anything wrong, but that what he did was minor and insignificant compared to his stature as a preeminent black congressman. Double standard to the max.

  12. Is this jackhole so far around the bend that he actually believes the shit that spews forth from his own mouth? Could he possibly actually believe what he is saying? Is he that nuts?

    Good thing we’ve got Empress Nancy assuring the faithful that we’ve now got the “most honest, most open and most ethical” House of Representatives ever. If this is the “most,” I’d hate to see the worst…

    1. Good thing we’ve got Empress Nancy assuring the faithful that we’ve now got the “… most ethical” House of Representatives ever.

      I meant “most ethnical.” Heavens, everyone knows I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

    2. Teapot Dome?

  13. I’m still waiting for Charlie Rangel’s “Clay Davis” moment.

  14. This dooshcanoe tries to reinstate the draft once a year too, doesn’t he? We should bring that up as much as possible, while we are piling on.

    1. I believe that he does that as political theater from an anti-war position.

      1. Yes, giving the military enough surly enslaved soldiers to fight several major wars at once, purportedly to advance the anti-war cause and promote freedom, sounds like a * great * idea.


        1. Look, I’m not defending Mr. Rangel as a politician, but his point is this, he pushes the draft as an idea that he knows doesn’t have legs, but is used to as theater to make people against the war, “If I HAVE to go to war, I’d be agin it” type of thing.

          1. Actually, that is not Rangel’s point when he advocates reinstating the draft. His point is that the military is filled with lower and middle class kids and is not representative of America. His point is that if some of the kids of the upper-crust were risking their privileged asses, then perhaps these wars would not be so easily entered into. I agree with him on that point.

            1. Yes, if they also randomly selected people for the frontlines and officer’s positions, maybe. Otherwise, the parents of the kids of the upper-crust will make sure that their offspring risk their privileged asses in a nice, safe warzone (or even guarding the home front). And hey, their “military experience” looks good for the political career too.

        2. For instance, remember when Progressives chattered non-stop about how Bush was a’gonna reinstate the draft?

          I don’t recall any progressives bitching about Charlie Rangel’s yearly attempt. Because they knew it was bullshit. I mean, they knew Bush instating the draft was bullshit, too, but that didn’t matter.

      2. Look, I am attacking Mr Rangel as a politician. So my point is that he a lying hypocritical sack of communist shit. As demonstrated by his annual sponsorship of pro-slavery legislation. I don’t care what his motivation is.

  15. Actually, really short term limits — say, 3 months or less — would work great.

    Every two years, hold elections, and the top 8 vote getters from each district each get three months to try to fuck us over.

    Works for me.

  16. For the impatient among us.

  17. Rangel knows he is about to face judgement day and be held accountable for his acts. Not that his actions prior and present were legal or ethical, but that he was engrossed in hurbis and was caught. Why not call upon his jurors, none of who are without sin themselves, to remember that they escaped one more time? Will his peers show him mercy? Will they remember the kindnesses of Charlie Rangel when he was head of Ways & Means?

    All of the gang of 535 have sins in their past. Long-termers most likley have engaged in felonious activity under the color of “serving the people”. Unfortunatley, we the Citizens have let this activity progress to the degree that our “elected representatives” feel that us, not them are the criminals.

    That’s why we need to vote them off the floor of Congress. Accountablility is hell only when you hold yourself to a presumption of legality, morality and ethics.

  18. I think term limits are a poor solution… limit the power, not the people.

    Why can’t we do both?

  19. Um, Dave Obey is not from MN. He represents a district in WI.

  20. enen,you can find whatever watch you want on my name

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