In 2007, Representative Charlie Rangel published a jaunty autobiography: “And I Haven’t Had a Bad Day Since.” This statement is no longer operative. Since 2007, Mr. Rangel has been accused of a whole host of ethics charges, and this morning’s Times finds him “frayed but defiant.”
He curses at a jerky conservative activist, sarcastically wonders whether an inquiring reporters is a psychiatrist and, according to the Times’ reporters, bears that telltale sign of stress: he’s lost weight. Republicans are hounding him, Democrats are distancing themselves from him, and challengers are circling over his seat.
But the worst of it isn’t just that Mr. Rangel get it from all sides, but that the Times reaches deep into its Rolodex for Dan Rostenkowski’s number, and lets the criminal Congressman talk about how much better he was at crafting health care bills while up on ethics charges.
“I can’t believe that the Ways and Means Committee lets Nancy Pelosi determine what’s in a bill,” said Dan Rostenkowski, the former chairman of Ways and Means who was forced out and jailed after being indicted in 1994 on corruption charges. He noted that he continued to play the dominant role in President Clinton’s health care proposal in 1994 even as he was being served with subpoenas.
A spokesman for Mr. Rangel said he has yet to read the article.