Rangel and expulsion, ctd

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It looks like it’s a choice of leaving on your own two feet or getting hoisted up by your collar and thrown out of the bar. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer pretty much lays it out that way:

The House’s second-ranking Democrat on Tuesday said Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) will decide on his own whether to resign his seat or go forward with Thursday’s ethics inquiry.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters he did not know what Rangel’s decision would be. The Ethics Committee on Thursday is scheduled to convene publicly to spell out its charges against the New York Democrat.

If Hoyer is saying the choice is between resign or face the trial, than the outcome of the trial would be expulsion.

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  • Krempasky

    SRSLY, Paul? *That* is your conclusion from Hoyer’s statement? Talk about an example of taking a giant leap of interpretation.

    Here’s another, much more likely interpretation. Hoyer: Rangel should resign and spare the rest of the increasingly-vulnerable Democratic caucus from the right and appropriate charge of cronyism and corruption. Even if said charges are entirely true.

    • No shit.

      I think that the motivations speak for themselves, but maybe I needed to walk the reader through that. So, here it goes:

      The Democrats–any majority would think like this in this situation–don’t want this on their backs this close to an election. The Republicans will play it up full tilt just like the Dems did on Abramoff, DeLay, Ney, etc… back in 2006. And they should because it’s smart politics.

      Hoyer isn’t an idiot, so, and this is what I was reading into this, he tells Rangel that he resigns or faces a trial. That signals to me that, because of the political concerns, the Democrats aren’t going to simply censure the guy, but they will pursue expulsion. If it’s censure, the Republicans will assail the Democratic majority for covering for a corrupt member of Congress because it’s an easy political point to score–way too easy. So, by suggesting that Rangel retire, Hoyer is essentially showing him what cards the Democrats are holding. It’s retire or expulsion.

      The push to retire is political. The decision for expulsion is political. It’s all political. Why? Because it’s politics. I kind of thought that was an understanding that was a given when discussing politicians.