When Will It Be Time to Give Rangel a Shove?

Eugene Robinson is trying to save the Democrats from themselves. He writes on the ethically challenged chairman of the Ways and Means Committee:

House Democrats had better start taking the ethics allegations against Rep. Charlie Rangel seriously. I know it’s difficult for those steeped in Capitol Hill’s hermetic culture to understand, but a verdict of “mistakes were made” — which a lot of Democrats would like to reach — doesn’t cut it in the real world. . . . The real problem, though, is the overall portrait of a wealthy and privileged congressional pasha to whom ordinary rules don’t apply.

It is a bizarre sort of compromise that House Democrats have seized upon. They are defending his chairmanship but expanding the ethics probe. It might seem odd that in the flurry of subpoenas, Rangel still sits atop the committee charged with drafting tax laws and conducting oversight of the IRS. It will seem odd to voters, too, should he remain. And Robinson is plainly nervous: “Speaker Nancy Pelosi may owe her job to Rangel, but she needs to press the ethics committee to do its work without fear or favor. And she needs to contemplate the prospect of explaining to voters, come next fall, why the affluent man who sets their taxes didn’t pay his.”

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When Will It Be Time to Give Rangel a Shove?

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