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Should Charles Rangel resign?
A powerful Democrat's ethics controversy puts his party in the hot seat
 

If Rep. Charles Rangel "had any sense of duty, let alone honor," said Jonathan Capehart in The Washington Post, "he'd give up the Ways and Means gavel on his own." It's no surprise that the Republican-led attempt to strip Rangel of his powerful committee chairmanship went nowhere—"Rangel is a revered member of the Democratic Party and the dean of the New York congressional delegation." But that doesn't mean he should get a pass on failing to disclose sizeable financial assets.

Democrats will regret protecting Rangel, said Jennifer Rubin in Commentary. The man has "collected tax and ethics scandals the way some people collect stamps"—including his failure to report on federal and state tax returns that he raked in $75,000 in rental income on a villa in the Dominican Republic. "He’ll be a poster boy for corruption in the 2010 race the way Tom DeLay was in 2006 and Dan Rostenkowski was in 1994."

Democrats didn't even bother defending Rangel, said Gail Collins in The New York Times. They just "swiftly and sullenly" referred his case to the Ethics Committee, which is "currently embarked on Year Two of its Charles Rangel investigation." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she's out to punish bad apples—how Congress ultimately deals with Rangel "is a test of whether the Democrats will follow through when it’s really, really hard."

 

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