Rangel steps down as Ways and Means chair

Ethically challenged Charlie Rangel, despite the support of the Black Congressional Caucus and the Speaker, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, announces that he's stepping down as Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Allahpundit at Hot Air asks reasonably what this means for the healthcare vote and Pelosi's continued role as speaker:

"We don't have the votes to save him," one Democratic member said of Rangel.

Translation: At least 39 Democrats are so terrified of Rangel's toxicity that they're willing to risk a fracture with the Congressional Black Caucus to save their own asses in November. In fact, at least one of those 39 was a member of the CBC himself: Artur Davis, who's running to become governor of red-state Alabama and who became the first black congressman to call for Rangel to step down this afternoon. Once he defected, the anti-Rangel forces had the political cover they needed to get tough with the now-former chairman.

Exit question: If 39 (or more) Dems are too terrified of the electoral consequences to stand by Uncle Charlie, how much more terrified must they be of standing behind O-Care? In which case, where is Pelosi getting the votes?

Clarice Feldman