Cafferty File

Why won't Congressman Charlie Rangel just go away?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The case of New York Congressman Charlie Rangel is bordering on pathetic.

After being found guilty of 11 ethics violations after a two-year investigation, the full House is set to vote on censuring the New York Democrat on Thursday. It's sort of sad really.

The Ethics Committee overwhelmingly recommended censure last month, which is the harshest punishment short of expulsion.

The 80-year-old Rangel is asking the House for the lesser penalty of a reprimand. Rangel claims that censure should only be used in cases where corruption was proved.

There was a time before the guilty verdict that Rangel could have simply walked away with his reputation intact. But apparently his monumental ego wouldn't allow it. Now it's too late. By continuing to whine publicly about his treatment, Rangel, who has served in Congress for 40 years, diminishes himself.

He came out of the Korean War a decorated combat veteran, was elected to Congress and has remained there for 20 terms. In fact, he was just re-elected in spite of the ethics cloud hanging over him.

Among other things, Rangel was found guilty of not paying taxes for 17 years on his rental home in the Dominican Republic, failing to report assets for a decade, misusing a rent-stabilized Harlem apartment as a campaign office and misusing congressional resources to raise money for a college center named after him.

Rangel has apologized for what he calls honest mistakes and wrote his behavior off to "sloppiness." The House Ethics Committee found otherwise.

The ethics scandal cost Rangel the chairmanship of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and more than $2 million in legal fees.

Here's my question to you: Why won't Congressman Charlie Rangel just go away?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

C. writes:
Being in Congress is not a finite term of service. It's a lifetime identity with pensions, perks, pork. Kind of like royalty. It's our fault. We keep voting them back in.

D. writes:
Charlie, you are like gum stuck on our shoes. You have had your day in the court of opinion. Too much time has been wasted listening to your self-righteous babble. Take your generous government retirement, sit down and relax, and watch the rest of us try to piece this country back together again.

Bob in Kansas City, Missouri writes:
Why won't he go away? Because he's like the rest of the long-term jerks; he's drunk with power and thinks the place won't run without him.

Gordon writes:
Warts and all, Charlie Rangel is my hero – and not just for his Bronze Star valor in the Korean War. When Bush sent our soldiers off to seemingly endless wars after 9/11, only Rangel had the political guts to say we needed to bring back the draft. Today, as our soldiers face the trauma of third, fourth, or more combat tours, Rangel's recommendation was right. His constituents know who he is and what he's done, and 80% still voted for him. Rangel should not betray their vote by quitting.

Rich in Texas writes:
I agree with Rangel. They should not censure him. They should throw his crooked ass out of the House.

Al in Cincinnati writes:
Better question: Why in the hell doesn't the IRS prosecute this crook? If you or I evaded taxes for 17 years…

Clark writes:
His ego. But more importantly, why do his constituents continue to elect him and others like him? The rest of us have to suffer under the consequences of their lack of self-control and morals.

Mike in St. Paul, Minnesota writes:
He's a politician. You have to spray to get rid of them.