Thursday, November 18, 2004

What Did You Expect?

The House of Representatives changes the rules.

Spurred by an investigation connected to the majority leader, House Republicans voted Wednesday to abandon an 11-year-old party rule that required a member of their leadership to step aside temporarily if indicted.

Meeting behind closed doors, the lawmakers agreed that a party steering committee would review any indictments handed up against the majority leader, Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, or any other members of the leadership team or committee chairmen, to determine if giving up a post was warranted. The revision does not change the requirement that leaders step down if convicted.

The new rule was adopted by voice vote. Its chief author, Representative Henry Bonilla of Texas, said later that only a handful of members had opposed it.

The Republicans’ old rule was adopted in August 1993 to put a spotlight on the legal troubles of prominent Democrats. Mr. Bonilla said revising it had been necessary to prevent politically inspired criminal investigations by “crackpot” prosecutors from determining the fate of top Republicans. [New York Times]

Josh Marshall is conducting a survey to find out just how many members make up the “handful” that opposed the rule change.

Did anyone really believe that once the Republicans got their hands on the reins – and the reign – that they would be any more ethical or accountable than the Democrats, in spite of the fact that they campaigned on just such a platform with their Contract for America in 1994 and gleefully exploited the travails of Dan Rostenkowski and Jim Wright? If you did, let me hook you up with a friend of mine who has some really good real estate going for a song out in southwest Miami-Dade County in a lovely little area known as Shark Valley.

So this is the party of moral values.

Oh, and just in case you think there was some kind of “witch-hunt” going on in Texas, check out the record of DA Ronnie Earle. He’s gone after far more Democrats than he has Republicans.

So it comes down to this; the Republicans go after “activist” judges. Then they go after “crackpot” district attorneys. What’s next, political background checks on juries? Wouldn’t surprise me in the least.