Republican Rep. John R. Carter of Texas offered legislation Wednesday that would require Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel to relinquish his gavel until the ethics committee completes an investigation into Rangel’s finances.
Under the rules of the House, members must consider Carter’s resolution by next Tuesday, forcing Democrats to confront Rangel’s ethics in the same week they will try to move the massive economic stimulus and a handful of late appropriations bills.
…which is, of course, the last thing that the Democrats want to do, given that it’s going to be kind of hard to explain why Rangel has quite so many rent-controlled apartments, was so behind on his taxes, and generally appears to be giving an excellent impression of a corrupt suckweasel. So now they’re actually going to have to do something about it, even if “something” is a whitewash. Which is the most likely result: if Congressional Democrats actually cared about corruption, they wouldn’t have quite so much of it in their caucus right now.