Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Republican Ethics! Really! (?)

The New York Times runs a story on the Tom DeLay about-face regarding his new ethics plans.

Allow me to summarize: Tom DeLay is a lying, cheating son of a bitch. But he's also the third most powerful man in Washington. So when his lying and cheating finally caught up with him, instead of doing the right thing and facing the music, he changed the ethics rules. The House already changed the Republican written rule which stated that a party leader must step down from his leadership position if he is indicted (because he's about to be indicted). This time around they were going to eliminate the ethics rule used to slap DeLay on the wrist three times in the past year - for his tactics in trying to persuade [bribing] a colleague to support the Medicare drug bill, for appearing to link [linking] political donations to support for legislation and for involving a federal agency in a political matter in Texas [sending the FBI to hunt down wanted Democrats. Really. I'm not making that up].

But here's where it goes all freaky. DeLay decided to reverse both of those decisions. Whaaaaa? His party has been silently trippin' about these changes behind the scenes, but they've been keeping their mouths shut. Real nice. But hey - they know what happens when you cross DeLay - you lose. When DeLay finally gave in, they all breathed a sigh of relief.

"I think it is the mark of a leader to take a bullet for the team rather than making the team take a bullet for him," said Representative Mark Steven Kirk, Republican of Illinois.

Yeah, that DeLay, he's a peach.

Representative Zach Wamp, Republican of Tennessee, said. "I feel like we have just taken a shower."

Keep scrubbing, Zach. Just because you didn't eliminate all the ethics rules, that doesn't mean your leader isn't a festering pustule of unethical behavior.

Another interesting line from the article:

Representative David Dreier, a California Republican who is chairman of the Rules Committee, said Republicans on Tuesday would present to the full House a proposal that ethics cases be dismissed if the ethics committee, which is divided equally between Democrats and Republicans, is deadlocked. That plan has also drawn opposition from ethics advocates, including Democrats and some Republicans.

There are ethics advocates? Doesn't that imply that there are ethics opponents? Who in the House is against having ethics and do they post that on their website? I can see it now: Senator Schmo has spent his career fighting long and hard against ethics and those who behave ethically. "I can promise you, the voters," he was quoted at yesterday's rally, "that every day of my term will be less ethical than the last."

Will someone please tell me what the hell is going on?

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