18 November 2004
Without further DeLay
I'm not quite sure what to make of this, but whatever it is, it's unsavory and distasteful.
Some of Tom DeLay's henchpersons have been indicted by a Texas grand jury, and it's expected, by some anyway, that an indictment of DeLay himself will be returned. In an effort to insulate DeLay from their own ethics rules, House Republicans passed a measure to allow DeLay to remain in his leadership post pending an investigation of some sort.
A mere indictment, of course, proves nothing. But this action makes it a great deal more difficult for the GOP to cast itself in the role of Moral Guardian, a role it never played convincingly in the first place. Whatever happened to avoiding even the appearance of scandal?
I liked James Joyner's take on this:
The bottom line is that we shouldn't change the rules in midstream for the benefit of someone in power. DeLay should come out against the rule change for the good of the institution and it could be made clear that DeLay's replacement is just keeping his seat warm until his vindication.
Which, of course, he didn't, and they didn't.
It doesn't take much to be more ethical than today's Democratic Party. House Republicans, though, have served notice that it's too much for them to bother with. Seldom do I agree with Nancy Pelosi on much of anything, but it's hard to argue with this:
Clearly, the Republicans do not care about the integrity of their party or the poor example they set for the nation. Their action today demeans the work of all ethical, law-abiding public servants.
Or, in the words of GOP stalwart Joshua Claybourn:
There is increasingly very little to separate Republicans from the majority they once overturned.
Meet the new scum, same as the old scum.