Do The Traficant Rant

It's often said that the partisan infighting in Washington keeps anything from getting done. Well, last week Congress showed the cynics, voting 420-1 to expel Ohio Democrat James Traficant from the House. (The lone dissenter was Gary Condit, who knows from being shunned by co-workers.) Traficant, who was convicted in April of 10 counts of bribery, racketeering and corruption, is just the second congressman to be booted by his colleagues since the Civil War. But he's as likely to be remembered in the history books for his unique sartorial flair (he favors bell- bottoms and denim suits), his slapstick hairdo and his propensity to spew nonsense from the House floor. And on Wednesday, the day he was expelled, the chamber was packed with throngs hoping for some classic Traficant rant. They weren't disappointed. A sampler of trash-talkin' Jim's greatest hits:

Am I different? Yeah. Deep down, you know you want to wear wider bottoms; you're just not secure enough... Do I do my hair with a weed whacker? I admit it.'

On the House floor the day he was expelled.

When I walk on the floor for the final execution I'll wear a denim suit. I'll walk in there like Willie Nelson, John Wayne, Will Smith, "Men in Black," James Brown. Maybe do a Michael Jackson moon walk.'

On his plans for his final House appearance. For the record, Traficant did not wear a denim suit.

I'm a jackass. I can't raise money. The newspapers say I'm racist, anti-Semitic. Come on. You know all that.'

On CBS's "60 Minutes" in 1990, when asked about his chances in Congress.

Beam me up. The White House will not wise up until there is a full-blown rice paddy on the East Lawn of the White House. Somebody is smoking dope.'

On the House floor in 1997, speaking about Bill Clinton's relationship with China.

I wanted to have Playboy bunnies come on at night to meet with me. I wanted to be promiscuous with them.'

Explaining to the ethics committee why he kept a boat docked on the Potomac.

I made a conscious decision to finance a campaign to beat the hell out of people and to be competitive.'

Explaining why he took campaign contributions from the mob in the 1980s.

I think they're delusionary. I think they've had something funny for lunch in their meal, I think they should be handcuffed, chained to a fence and flogged, and all of their hearsay evidence should be thrown the hell out. And if they lie again, I'm going to go over there and kick them in the crotch. Thank you very much.'

Explaining his views on opposing counsel during his ethics-committee hearings.

I love America, but I hate the government.'