Yes, “steal.” Rep. Charles Rangel was not allowed to use money from his leadership PAC to pay his legal bills, it beggars belief that he did not know that he was not allowed to use money from his leadership PAC to pay his legal bills, and yet he did it anyway. If we can’t call the deliberate diversion of money that was raised and allocated for other people’s use ‘theft’ then we might as well give up the entire civilization thing now and go back to living in caves.
It doesn’t really matter anyway, of course. The Democratic panelists on the ethics trial that’s supposed to start tomorrow will not sign off on any sort of meaningful punishment for the Congressman: he’ll be slapped on the wrist in any Democratic-controlled Congress, and everybody knows it. That’s why current Speaker Pelosi delayed these proceedings in the first place, after all. On the (marginally) bright side, at least Rangel’s been drained personally dry by these proceedings, to the point where he’ll be representing himself because he can’t afford a new legal team. It’s hardly justice, but then, again: it’s still a Democratic-controlled Congress. You work with what you have.
Moe Lane (crossposted)