Thursday, November 18, 2004

DeLay Now Presides Over Animal Farm

As I watched the news yesterday and saw that the House GOP leaders were attempting to change the rule they established about having leaders temporarily step down if indicted because Tom DeLay, the House GOP leader, MIGHT be indicted (a small possibility), I had the same thought that Andrew Sullivan seems to be having: that the GOP in congress, which once prided itself on ethics and created a self-policing rule that Democrats still haven't adopted, is turning into what it once despised: the entrenched, ethically challenged Democratic leadership that blew up in the early 90's. Hence the Animal Farm reference for you philisitne's who haven't read George Orwell's classic novel about the dangers of Stalinism.

I think the House Leadership is making a terrible mistake. For one thing, the self-imposed ethical rules that the GOP established were groundbreaking, and led to some transparency in the Congress. It made the Dems look even worse. Secondly, DeLay will most likely NOT be indicted, but even if he is, he is so high profile that it would be in the best interests of the party if he step down to "fight the unfair indictment". DeLay and others claim that he is the target of a personal vendetta by an overzealous DA in Texas. If so, take him head on, don't change the rules and prove you never meant them in the first place. Changing the rules so openly and right after holding on to Congress give the Dems fodder for the news. It gave Nacy Pelosi her only good soundbite ever, when she said she found it "interesting that the first order of Business of the Republican Majority is to change the ethics rules". Never mind that the Democrats STILL have no similar rules. That's not the point. The point is that the very changing of the rules at this stage give the appearence of impropriety. Not a good way to finish this Congress and to start the next. I've been uneasy about the House leadership for a while now. This just confirms my fears. Hopefully, someone will stop the change before it happens.

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