After the censure of Charles Rangel for financial and fundraising misconduct by a vote of 333-79, he spoke in front of his friends and colleagues in the House and was not particularly apologetic or contrite. This by the way was only the 23rd time a congressman had been censured and the first time since 1983.
No Rep. Rangel was firm in the fact that he did nothing wrong and that others in the past have done far worse and not been censured. That he is an ethical man and an honest man. That he is the victim of the current political climate and as such accepts the censure with that knowledge. That he can look in the mirror and feel no shame.
Listen to his words starting at 1:50 of the video and understand the mentality that develops for some who spend a lifetime in the insulated world of Washington. This man was the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee that writes our tax law. He did not pay his taxes (among other things) yet that should somehow be allowed to get explained away.
Rangel did not pay taxes on a rental he had in the Dominican Republic for 17 years. On his financial disclosure documents he left off hundreds of thousands of dollars of assets that he owned. And there was more. But in the world of Washington the expectation of the Congressmen was that it would all somehow just go away.
These men are not above the law, but like others in politics such as a Tim Geithner, legal indiscretions seem to get absolved with an I'm sorry and "it fell through the cracks".
Not this time!