Charlie Rangel defense begins with fancy chart

The longtime New York congressman looks to avoid official censure by convincing his peers that he's not so bad

By Alex Pareene
Published November 29, 2010 7:30PM (EST)
Charlie Rangel
Charlie Rangel

Representative Charlie Rangel would really prefer it if the House didn't censure him. He was found guilty of 11 counts of ethics violations, and the ethics committee voted nine-to-one to recommend that the full House censure him, but he thinks a reprimand would be just fine, thank you.

How does Rangel plan to convince his colleagues that he's not worthy of censure? With a really great chart, obviously. 10 Reasons Why Rangel NO Censure

It is titled "10 Reasons Why Rep. Charles B. Rangel Should NOT Receive Censure," but it is not a hilarious Letterman-style Top Ten List. It is actually a list of other representatives who were censured for doing things that were "worse" than what Charlie Rangel did, and a list of people who were only reprimanded for doing things that were "worse" than what Charlie Rangel did (like Newt Gingrich).

Will it work? No, probably not. But censure is still an extraordinarily goofy 19th-century relic, so it really won't be so bad, Charlie.

Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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Charlie Rangel D-n.y. U.s. House Of Representatives