Patterico's Pontifications


What to Make of Charlie Rangel

Filed under: General,Politics — Jack Dunphy @ 9:59 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

On Friday, the Weekly Standard’s Mary Katherine Ham took a look at the difficulties facing Harlem Democrat Charlie Rangel, who finds himself facing ethics charges that allege a host of financial improprieties. Rangel is often spoken of in complimentary terms by conservatives like Bill Kristol and George Will, who unfailingly mention how likable the 40-year congressman is. This characterization has long puzzled me, as Rangel has always struck me as a man who, if he were to shake my hand, would have me checking for my wallet and watch afterward. Do any of you share that impression?

Rangel says he looks forward to addressing the charges against him.

Sure he does.

–Jack Dunphy

72 Responses to “What to Make of Charlie Rangel”

  1. He has always struck me as one of the most disreputable people in public life. Conservatives who are willing to say nice things about the likes of him mystify me. I think that there are many who don’t understand that we are at war. And if you don’t understand that you are at war, you are vulnerable to the sucker punch. But it seems to be a widespread phenomenon among Republicans, and one from which they apparently never learn. The left has no honor. Over the years I have watched with dread and disgust as one after another major Republican figure acted on the assumption that both sides are honorable and want the best for our nation, only to draw back a bloody stump. Only one side is honorable and wants the best for our nation.

    william wilson (f6deac)

  2. I definitely would at least wipe my hand. He reminds me of some of the bookies I’ve seen on videos of cock fights.

    They usually have two really skinny guys backing them up and the bookies’ carrying a nickel plated .32 auto in they’re back pocket. They’ve got at least one pinky ring and they’ve got their sequined shirt unbuttoned to their belly button with a hairy chest and a silver St. Christopher medal around their necks showing.

    Sorry, does that make me racist? I denounce myself if so. I’m just reporting on what I seen.

    ‘Cholly’ could also pass as a 2nd rate cocaine dealer from Miami.

    His fellow Democrats are asking him to resign because THEY think he’s guilty. (of the charges and more).

    My guess is that in about a month or so he’ll ‘decide not to run’ so that he can spend more time with his family. (at that dacha on the Island Of Dominica.)

    Legal disclaimer:
    All of the above is strictly my opinion and is to be considered to be alleged and not claimed to be fact. {smirk}

    jakee308 (e1996a)

  3. Blago also is seen as likable and is ovbiously a crook. Blago, too, insisted that he looked forward to clearing his name and to “expose in open court the lies that are being said about me.” Then his defense rested without calling any witnesses and without Blago testifying. I suspect that the game for Rangel will similarly end in a whimper after he indulges himself in a few days of indignant huffing and puffing. At least we do not need to play the “guess the party” game with these two prominent Dems in the news.

    elissa (87e851)

  4. Curiously he’s the largest House Democrat recipient
    of BP cash, yes I know he’s always struck me as a ‘drill baby drill’ type, sarc

    ian cormac (d407d8)

  5. There are some people who, if they stretched their hand out to me, I would leave them hanging.

    John Hitchcock (9e8ad9)

  6. Jack, whenever Rangel is mentioned I always comment, “Officer Cardillo is unavailable for comment.” Rangel an evil man and was complicit in covering up and denying justice in the case of an NYPD officer killed almost 40 years ago. The story never gets any traction. Here is an excerpt,
    Now Deputy Commissioner Ben Ward arrives, with Farrakhan at his side, he shouts to the superior officers that the cops immediately leave the mosque. The crime scene was abandoned. Farrakhan and Rangel are shouting to the superior officers “if you stay, there is nothing we can do to protect you. You’ll be overrun. There’ll be rioting. People may be killed.”

    You can read the whole sorry episode here.

    Gazzer (800a42)

  7. I would put on gloves if I were forced to shake his hand.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  8. The thoroughly corrupt are very often the ones who are the most charismatic. Look no further than Bill Clinton for confirmation.

    I appreciate the fact that Rangel served his country honorably. I also recognize that throughout our history the first generation of an ethnic group that acquires political power often abuses it for personal gain. The Irish in Boston and the Italians in New York are two prime examples. It shouldn’t come as any surprise, historically speaking, when African-American politicians of his generation turn out to be crooks.

    However, that is no excuse for not full prosecuting the offenders when their corruption comes to light. Duke Cunningham was a war hero, but when he was caught with his hand in the taxpayer’s pocket he went to prison. I hope that the IRS and the DOJ are taking these allegations seriously and that Rangel doesn’t get to suddenly retire with his pension intact in exchange for having the charges swept under the rug.

    JVW (a52530)

  9. On a somewhat related note, remember how on the eve of the 1994 election several ethically challenged congressmen finally had their past catch up with them? And how the same thing happened in ’06 (Foley and DeLay)? Its almost as though things start getting so bad their colleauges decide they’re tired of covering for their colleague and throw them to the wolves, thinking that it will improve their re-election chances (though it usually doesn’t work that way).

    Sean P (6f6c60)

  10. I appreciate the fact that Rangel served his country honorably

    The only person he has ever served is himself. Sheesh, did you even glance at my link at #6?

    He’s beena racist sh*t-disturber his whole life.

    Gazzer (800a42)

  11. I don’t care how long he’s been in his position or just how slick he is. The rules apply to him too. I agree w/ Dunphy I would be checking my wallet and looking for the anti bacterial gel to wipe my hands.

    drone (042d4c)

  12. who unfailingly mention how likable the 40-year congressman is.

    He’s mastered the art of the successful used-car salesman.

    I don’t want to stretch the analogy too far, but I’m reminded of all those news stories through the years where some person in a community is caught for a major crime, such as a murder, kidnapping or rape. And then when reporters interview people in the neighborhood who knew the suspect will say things like “but he was such a nice guy!” Or, “he always was so friendly and helpful!” Or, “he always waved and smiled at us in the morning—he even volunteered to assist us in painting the house and trimming our trees!”

    Mark (411533)

  13. He’s been such a prominant member of the Black Caucus, and then the Chrmn of Ways & Means, that any criticism will be responded to as a racist attack.
    It is the ultimate PC corruption!

    AD - RtR/OS! (46c251)

  14. The only person he has ever served is himself.

    I’m going to disagree with you, Gazzer. The man won a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star in Korea. That deserves my respect, no matter what else nonsense Rangel has engaged in throughout his corrupt Congressional career.

    JVW (a52530)

  15. I appreciate the fact that Rangel served his country honorably

    The only person he has ever served is himself. Sheesh, did you even glance at my link at #6?

    He’s beena racist sh*t-disturber his whole life.

    I believe he was referencing Rangel’s service during the Korean War. Whatever he has done since then, he conducted himself as a true hero in combat.

    Anon Y. Mous (3e646d)

  16. I don’t think Rangel can wait to resign. If he does it right away, before the Ethics charges and evidence are made public, he is no longer a Member, the House no longer has jurisdiction, and the file is closed immediately. If he waits until the evidence is out there, it will be difficult for even Holder’s DOJ to ignore the violations. At some point Rangel will say to himself, “Maybe I’ll just be happy with what I was able to get away with, take the pension and go home – maybe Fox will hire me as a panel member.”

    Adjoran (ec6a4b)

  17. He is the only person to blast Chavez after he talked bad about Bush at the UN. I doubt he did it for opportunity.

    Didn’t everyone like Ted Kennedy also? Once you’re in the club, you’re in the club. It takes a lot for your act to wear out. Think Massa would have gotten in trouble if he didn’t come out against health care?

    BradnSA (24ba37)

  18. he is no longer a Member, the House no longer has jurisdiction, and the file is closed immediately. If he waits until the evidence is out there, it will be difficult for even Holder’s DOJ to ignore the violations. At some point Rangel will say to himself, “Maybe I’ll just be happy with what I was able to get away with, take the pension and go home – maybe Fox will hire me as a panel member.”

    jack (7f2210)

  19. Rangel is the type of person who is your best friend until you say or do something that impedes him from doing whatever it is he intends to do. Then, he treats you as if you have betrayed him, disgraced yourself, and have freely chosen to make yourself unworthy of his good will.

    The worst thing about these types of people is that they don’t show themselves to be such until they turn on you like a family dog attacking an infant. You would not hesitate to swiftly execute a strange dog that threatens your child, but not the one who had been a loyal companion until that moment. Almost as bad is convincing people who are still friendly with them that the same thing could happen to them.

    L.N. Smithee (cdeb24)

  20. As far as I can remember, Rangel has always been a patriot, no small thing in a Democrat these days…….

    gahrie (ed7a50)

  21. Rangel the patriot was the one that called for the re-institution of the draft, in order to guarantee that the sons of GOP congresspersons were sent off to fight. I have nothing negative to say about his service in Korea, but I sure have a problem with the way he votes in the House.

    Icy Texan (757fb0)

  22. It would be nice if the Rangel that served in Korea were the same one serving in the House.

    EW1(SG) (edc268)

  23. ‘Ironically’ in light of later remarks, he was one who said that calling for tax cuts, was the new version of the Klan with a suit,that’s the discrete
    Charlie Rangel, his tolerance for Fidel, is kind of extraordinary and hypocritical, given his properties
    in the Dominican Republic

    ian cormac (d407d8)

  24. I started my political life at the age of ten – I was a “runner” for the local Democratic party in the Truman/Dewey election. i grew up a “junion member” of “Boss” Charlie Buckley’s machine. I loved and respected the men and women with whom I worked. Over time, I bcame a conservative and started working for Republicans. I have mutual friends that were friends with not only Charlie Rangel but with Al Sharpton.

    In spite of the political diferences and pragmatic New York City political machine background, neither is totally bad. They each have admittedly low political and ethical standards but that is par for the course for many New York City politicians of all parties.

    Longwalker (4e0dda)

  25. I would shake Charlie Ranglel’s hand, and I’d thank him for his military service to our country. Then, I’d count my fingers.

    ropelight (bc442a)

  26. off topic, but over at the daily caller they are talking about how the journolisters dealt with the theory that trig was not palin’s son.

    Expect Sullivan’s head to explode in 3… 2… 1…

    instapundit has the link.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (f97997)

  27. most times charisma
    corruption run hand in hand
    let rangel dangle

    ColonelHaiku (ac3c3c)

  28. Charlie Rangel’s greatest sin is how little he has done for his home district. As long as he has been in Congress, you should be unable to walk through Harlem without tripping over a Federal building. If klan man Byrd – may he forever turn on a rotisserie in the nether regions – can have half the stuff in any given budget spent in the state of West Virginia; Rangel could have brought at least a little pork home to New York. Instead he was too busy lining his own pockets.

    Mike Giles (4cc753)

  29. Do you even realize how racist you are?!

    JD (229bac)

  30. Rangle succeeded to Adam Clayton Powell’s seat, didn’t he? … must be the seat.

    quasimodo (4af144)

  31. Meet the new corrupt congressman from Harlem, same as the old corrupt congressman from Harlem.

    Both have lots in common, most with beautiful blue water views, and located on prime build able locations with utilities already installed in several lovely Caribbean vacation resorts, and at very favorable rates and terms, with little or no down payment required, no credit checks either, and all backed by government funded mortgages.

    Such a deal!

    ropelight (bc442a)

  32. Rangel has always reminded me of a line from “My Fair Lady” Oozing sweat from every pore, he oiled his way across the floor.

    BarSinister (5dea99)

  33. Charlie Rangel has been the biggest supporter of the return of the military draft, but with a twist.

    Rangel is the chief sponsor of HR163 (108th Congress), the `Universal National Service Act of 2003′ which expressly indicates that the draft would be for a retreat.

    (b) FORM OF NATIONAL SERVICE- National service under this Act shall be performed either–

    (1) as a member of an active or reverse component of the uniformed services; or

    (2) in a civilian capacity that, as determined by the President, promotes the national defense, including national or community service and homeland security.

    This version of the bill actually came to the House floor, but was voted down (Rangel voted Nay).

    Neo (7830e6)

  34. Greetings:

    My dear departed father had a bit of wisdom that he managed to impart to me. “Politics,” he would say, “is the second oldest profession. Whores sell themseves; politicians sell everybody else.”

    11B40 (8bd160)

  35. I also recognize that throughout our history the first generation of an ethnic group that acquires political power often abuses it for personal gain.

    I’m glad someone else mentioned Adam Clayton Powell.

    The Irish and the Italians had crooked politicians but those were the days of small government and the corruption was mostly local. Remember that Harry Truman walked in the funeral procession of Boss Pendergast in Kansas City. When Truman was criticized for it, he said something that has become one of my life standards.

    He said that a Roman Senator was being discussed by his colleagues who said “His downfall began when he took his friends for granted and tried to bribe his enemies.”

    If you think about that for a while, you can see what a powerful rule of life it is.

    My father knew crooked politicians in Chicago but it was about parking tickets or getting someone admitted to Cook County Hospital. Now it is about billions and trillions of dollars and the financial survival of the country.

    When faced with those issues, the old political bosses turned to competent men like Truman.

    Mike K (0ef8c3)

  36. I flew Mr. Rangel on an USAF flight several months ago. He was very kind and gracious to the flight crew, stopping by the cockpit to say thanks–which is rare for Congresscritters (on both sides).

    On a side note, Mrs Pelosi was on the same flight and she was also very nice. Disagree with both of their politics, but they were a pleasure to fly.

    Phat (5331ff)

  37. You mean a little head with horns didn’t burst out of her stomach and try and eat you, Aliens-style lol? Something is going on with Rangel. It will be interesting to see what it is. There still is very little info.

    Chris Hooten (b6b24f)

  38. Phat, you drive one of them aluminum tubes held together with 140,000 loose rivets flyin’ in formation and powered by a Pratt and Whitney oil leak?

    ropelight (bc442a)

  39. Gonna go out on a limb here, Neo, and say that it should read “reserve component”, not “reverse component”.

    To the best of my never-served-but-strongly-support knowledge, the military does not refer to a retreat using the same terminology that you would use about backing up a car.

    Icy Texan (1fc458)

  40. Phat, I’m glad to hear it, but wish their flight crew was American Airlines if they aren’t going to Mogadishu or Afghanistan. If they are going to a safe airport, they should fly commercial.

    The taxpayer can even spring for business class.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  41. Good grief, Drudge has a dead link that he purports to say Sasha and Michelle vacationing in Spain, taking 30 rooms at a 5 star hotel.

    Ordinarily, this kind of pomp doesn’t bother me at all. They are the first family, after all, but we’re out of money and they are acting like royalty. I didn’t see much of this kind of thing from Laura vacationing away from W, for example.

    I tell you, this is a far cry from Palin putting the Learjet on E-bay, stunt that may have been. These are both attempts to send a message to the public about what leadership is about.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  42. “There still is very little info.”
    Excuse me! This has been going on for years and you say there is very little info. Obviously you have only been reading the liberal talking points.

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  43. Wallet and watch AND count your fingers…

    Frank Drebbin (8096f2)

  44. What can I make of Charlie Rangel? Why, I can make a hat, or a broach, or a pteradactyl…..

    Some chump (e84e27)

  45. Crissyhooten acted like it was some mystery that Rangel is dirtier than a mudpuddle. Cute. I would not trust Rangel with a penny, yet the Leftists put him in a leadership position on budgetary matters. Disgusting.

    JD (c27b22)

  46. JD, there is not much info on Rangel’s many corrupt dealings and tax fraud … if you deliberately hide yourself from it as Hooten does.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  47. Because Charlie is one of the black dragons in Congress, Democrats are afraid to raise the slightest objection to his obvious corruption.

    He’d scream racism and the Congressional Black Caucus would rush to back him up and vilify any white who was foolish enough to think that the truth of the accusation was enough to protect them from being lynched in public.

    Democrats, 100 times over are scared to death of being called a racist. Republicans and TEA Party members not so much, they’ve endured it time and again, but Democrats can’t withstand even the mere mention of such a accusation, the hint of a whisper is enough to put them into full retreat.

    ropelight (bc442a)

  48. There has been plenty of crap thrown. Let’s see what sticks.

    Chris Hooten (814359)

  49. There has been plenty of crap thrown. Let’s see what sticks.

    man in velcro suit
    should tread softly after he
    soil self in Summer

    ColonelHaiku (ac3c3c)

  50. __________________________________________

    Sasha and Michelle vacationing in Spain, taking 30 rooms at a 5 star hotel.

    Obama and the misses truly are the quintessential limousine liberals.

    In salute to them and their ilk, I hereby post the following. A story about a low-income, predominantly Latino community southeast of Los Angeles, full of people (in government and out) wedded to left-leaning sentiment. A small town that is but one of thousands of typical urban areas throughout America devoted to politicians like the current occupant of the White House, and certainly to Democrats and the Democrat Party in general., July 24, 2010:

    The city manager, assistant city manager and police chief of the City of Bell resigned at a city council meeting last night following revelations concerning their inflated pay grades.

    The three officials were only recently found to be making far more than their counterparts in similar municipalities. City manager Robert Rizzo will leave behind a salary of nearly $800,000, police chief Randy Adams a salary of $475,000 and assistant city manager Angela Spaccia $375,000.

    As a reference point, President Barack Obama earns a salary of approximately $400,000 a year. None of the three officials will be granted a severance package, though the 56 year old Rizzo stands to collect a substantial retirement package. Conservative estimates place the value of his yearly pension at approximately $650,000, making Rizzo the most highly paid pensioner in the state.

    Community activists applauded the decision, announced late last night. However, they’re just getting started. Next on their hit list is the city council itself. Despite all five council members being part time city employees, four make approximately $100,000 a year serving in their position. In comparison, city council members of similar municipalities make an average of $4,500.

    According to city records, the average per capita income of a citizen of Bell is $21,000 lower than the average citizen in California; 17% of the city is considered to be living below the poverty line. An estimated 65% of those 25 years or older do not have a high school diploma.

    Mark (411533)

  51. Please specify exactly what crap has been flung at Rangel, hootie.

    JD (886e3a)

  52. why, JD? Shouldn’t YOU be doing that?

    Chris Hooten (6666b7)

  53. No, Chris, I think everyone is aware of the charges against Rangel. They’ve been covered for a pretty long time now.

    What’s curious is the idea, your idea, that they are merely “crap” being thrown at him by a vast right wing conspiracy. What gave you that impression?

    If it’s just ‘I think that’s what a scandal involving a democrat must be’, then this means your credibility is pretty minimal. Especially on baseless charges. That would be like me criticizing someone for commenting too much.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  54. CrissyhOotie is afraid that unless he routinely proves that he is a mendoucheous twatwaffle that we may forget. Crissy, rest assured, your twatwafflry has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. It is a given.

    JD (886e3a)

  55. What I think is interesting is that so many of our Congressmen and Senators go to Washington with modest assets and manage to retire millionaires, Since we all know what their salaries are, one has to assume that there’s all sorts of corruption going on behind the scenes. It seems to me that Rangel is a perfect example of that. How did he manage to acquire all of this property? By not paying taxes on it, at the very least. The average citizen would be facing fines and possible jail time for similar acts.

    rochf (ae9c58)

  56. Have you guys heard of that jack*ss democrat in Florida who owes a 1.87million dollar fine because the captain of his 145 foot luxury yacht dropped anchor in the coral reefs of Belize and tore them all up to crap? He is running for Senator, I think. What a jerk. Even if he wasn’t on the yacht at the time he should pay the fine. He has enough money. Obviously a “common man” sheesh. Where do you all park your 145 foot yachts? Uhg, another “Greene” link to story about about jack*ss (Jeff Greene)

    Chris Hooten (2b4df0)

  57. “Hey! You scratched my anchor!”
    — Caddy Shack

    Frank Drebbin (8096f2)

  58. Exactly! Perfect.

    Chris Hooten (2b4df0)

  59. Chris wants to change the topic of the thread again? Oh, and against Greene, threat to democrats in Florida, for a fine that hasn’t been proven in court over an incident Greene had no control over?

    trolls try to take control of all of the threads, and reduce discourse to sheer chaos. I am clearly not doing that.
    Comment by Chris Hooten — 7/24/2010 @ 10:39 am

    I love when democrats use the word clearly because you know they are lying.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  60. Hooten thinks that his own ignorance of an issue is evidence that nothing is there. That’s such a bizarre line of logic that there is not even a name for that logical fallacy.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  61. chris

    honestly, i think its more offensive that kerry docks his boat in RI for tax purposes. it proves that kerry understands the john galt argument, but then refuses to apply it to any of the laws he endorses. i mean clueless is one thing, but to actually get what is wrong with your whole approach, and do it anyway, is inexcusable.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (f97997)

  62. Gotta be a student at a mid – level college trying to earn a degree in transgender studies; other than that, I have no idea what that kind of intelligence level would be good for, other than asking “would you like fries with that order?”

    Dmac (d61c0d)

  63. Don’t miss this coverage by Jules Crittenden of Thurston Howell III and his yacht.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  64. “…his own ignorance of an issue is evidence that nothing is there…”
    Comment by SPQR — 7/27/2010 @ 2:02 pm

    There is a lot of nothing in Chrissie’s world.

    AD - RtR/OS! (33ac02)

  65. Indeed, AD, but his frequent habit of “proving” that an issue is insignificant by citing his own lack of knowledge of it is something that I find astonishing.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  66. I love hanging out with you guys. Could you pass the pretzels?

    Chris Hooten (2b4df0)

  67. “That’s such a bizarre line of logic that there is not even a name for that logical fallacy.”

    Perhaps a Hooteninanity.

    kaf (669431)

  68. Some career advice for Chrissy – pizza delivery.

    Dmac (d61c0d)

  69. Rangel’s a crook. He’s so crooked that he needs a team of personal valets to screw his pants on in the morning. He replaced another crook- Adam Clayton Powell. What we can glean from this is that NY 15 votes for crooks since 1945. Expect another crook this fall, unless the current crook skates (my prediction).

    jONES (72b0ed)

  70. Does Chris Hooten believe there is a rational – and legal – explanation for Rangel holding lease on FOUR rent-controlled apartments? For not disclosing his rental income? And the other charges? Why does he not rebut them instead of trying to change the subject?

    Adjoran (ec6a4b)

  71. but Cholly is such a nice guy. All his co-workers say so. But in his case, nice guys don’t finish last. I agree with the song quote from “My Fair Lady”: “Oozing charm from every pore, he oils his way across the floor”.

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  72. Definitely believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the net the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people think about worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

    Neha Anand (e1c2ef)

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