Well Charlie: you’ve disappointed me, and while I may not be one of your close, personal, friends, I was offering you some friendly advice in my last missive when I urged you to fight these scandalous charges against you from the comfort & safety of The Dominican Republic.
“Maybe Charlie should take a cue from his district’s legendary congressman and quickly escape to his villa at Punta Cana Resort in the Caribbean’s Dominican Republic before the so-called “Ethics Committee” reigns down on him as it did Powell until The Supremes came to his rescue. If he holds out until Kagan is seated, with the help of the “Wise Latino”, the Supremes might just come to his rescue, too.”
No, I was not invited to roast you along with your “friends” at the Plaza Hotel in New York City the other day: my invite must be in the mail along with my invitation to Chelsea Clinton’s wedding.
Witness this, from The New York Post:
A who’s who of Democratic officials turned out to celebrate scandal-scarred Rep. Charles Rangel’s 80th birthday last night — whooping it up as if he didn’t have an ethics charge in the world.
In fact, former Mayor David Dinkins, 83, went so far as to flip the bird to a protester who called Rangel a “crook” outside The Plaza hotel gala. Not everyone matched Dinkins’ gusto, but the New York political establishment did turn out in force. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Mayor Bloomberg all took turns at the mike to heap praise on the longtime Harlem legislator.
A jovial Gov. Paterson emceed the fund-raising bash and paid tribute to the embattled congressman’s “dedication to public service.” Rangel lapped it up, telling the crowd, “This damn sure ain’t no funeral, is it?”
No, Charlie: this ain’t no funeral. But then, as David Byrne, of the seminal Talking Heads, said:
This ain`t no party, this ain`t no disco, this ain`t no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey, I ain`t got time for that now.
Congressman Rangel: ask former California representative Duke Cunningham if this is a party, if this is a time for dancing, a time for fooling around. Unfortunately, it is too late to ask your fellow Democrat, former Congressman Dan Rostenkowski, who has now assumed room temperature: but he would have probably told you to tread lightly when it comes to the sticky wicket of the federal government.
Right now, it’s all guffaws, back slapping, get in their face, thumbing your nose to the man on the House floor. Or “flipping the bird” to those who were protesting your bash, as the good former New York Mayor David Dinkins apparently did.
Indeed, you might wind up as The Lone Ranger found himself in this classic joke: when surrounded by hundreds of pissed off Indians (aka “Native Americans”), The Lone Ranger (aka “The Lone Rangel”) turned to his loyal companion Tonto and said, “Well, we’re in a heap of trouble, Tonto”. To which Tonto responded, “What you mean we, pale face”.
Soon, you may be singing a different song other than the one Dionne Warwick offered up according to The New York Daily News:
“The crowd paid $200 to $2,500 to munch on vanilla cupcakes and kosher food, sip free-flowing cocktails and sway to Dionne Warwick singing “That’s What Friends Are For.”
So it’s not too late, Charlie: get out while the getting’s good. Pack your bags, get the cold cash from the freezer and get the hell out of town. While the Dominican Republic is pretty hot and humid this time of year, it beats sharing a jail cell at Ft. Leavenworth with a three-hundred pound guy named “Bubba”.
Nicholas Thimmesch II, son of the late Los Angeles Times columnist Nick Thimmesch, is a longtime media and communications consultant to numerous campaigns, government representatives and public policy organizations, serving in the Reagan White House as a staff writer.