So, let me get this straight.

In 1997, 2 years after the Republicans gained control of the house, they changed a key rule in how the ethics committee could start an investigation of a house member. The rule change was that if 50% of the committee requested a probe, then it would happen. That change was so that a single party could not ‘block’ the investigation of someone in another party.
Sounds good, right? Almost makes sense.
But Tom Delay just changed the rules again. NOW it takes a majority. This rule was put in place when, shockingly, the 10 member committee voted 3 times in 2004 to admonish DeLay, and talk of a probe into more ethics violations by him was rumored. DeLay took decisive action:

After the 10-member committee admonished DeLay three times in 2004 and talk of a possible probe by the committee grew, Republican leadership in the House changed a central rule. The committee can now launch an investigation only if a majority of members support the idea.

DeLay, of course, responded quickly with a rebuttal of these allegations:

DeLay has called himself the victim of “just another seedy attempt by the liberal media to embarrass me” and has lashed out at Democrats for a “strategy of personal destruction.”

I think Dianne Feinstein, Democrat from California, says it best:

“What bothers me is the Republicans, when things aren’t going their way, tend to try to change the rules.”

and Barney Frank continues…

“The Republican Revolution came in [and] changed the rules so that one party couldn’t block an investigation of its own member,” Frank told NBC. “And when that began to bite, they’ve changed them back again. That’s the pattern, by the way, that the Republicans have engaged in on a whole lot of things.”
Frank said he and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were reprimanded by the committee.
“The difference between us and Mr. DeLay is, I think, we changed our behavior,” he said. “Mr. DeLay changed the Ethics Committee.”

We’ve seen this over, and over, and over again. We saw it in Texas with the totally idiotic re-districting.
What does it take to bring this man, and the rest of the Republican party, under control?

Dave Shevett


A wandering geek. Toys, shiny things, pursuits and distractions.

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3 thoughts on “So, let me get this straight.

  1. what will it take? something illegal, something ugly, something…
    but more seriously: someone said not too long ago that we’re heading toward a revolution of sorts, 60s-era stuff — that everything that is happening is pushing things further and further in that direction. i can only hope so.
    i know that as a 30-something i feel too old to revolt (because i’m “in the system” too deeply, etc), and too young to tow the party line (because i hate the party). or these may just be excuses…

  2. Well, in all fairness, it DOES go both ways – the Democrats were just as guilty of it as the Republicans. Maybe the Republicans are better at it.
    That doesn’t excuse it in any case: Delay needs to take a rather involuntary hike. What’s more, the Republicans need to stop trying to eliminate the filibuster.

  3. For a long time, Tom DeLay spent his time and money in election years, supporting his friends’ and allies’ campaigns through his PAC, while winning comfortably with no opposition in his home district. Until last year.
    Dean Dozen candidate Richard Morrison gave DeLay his biggest political scare yet, forcing him to actually focus on his own campaign for a change. Morrison spent about $600K, DeLay spent over $3 million, and had his weakest win ever, 55%.
    Richard Morrison is running again. This time, he can win. If you’ve got money, give him some.
    Democracy for America, which endorsed and supported Morrison’s 2004 run, is also holding a Tom DeLay billboard challenge – the winning ideas will be used for designs for ads that DfA will place on billboards in DeLay’s district. My favorite one so far (from this dKos diary) is just a picture of DeLay with “Congressman for Sale” written across it. There’s still time to suggest your own ideas.

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