Despite this blog’s restart being motivated by the US political situation, I’ve been somewhat remiss in keeping up with this topic, having drifted into a stunned malaise once the initial shock wore off.
I was unaware, for instance, that Rep. Tom DeLay was on the verge of being indicted by a Texas grand jury. (Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.)
However, the House Republicans, unwilling to let a little indictment interfere with the actions of their go-to guy, are [about to change the House rule][WaPo] which would have required DeLay to resign his leadership position if he is indicted.
And who instituted that rule? Why, it was the House GOP, eleven years ago, when they were in the minority and held themselves to higher ethical standards than Democrats like Dan Rostenkowski. Now that they’re in charge, they can’t be bothered to even pretend anymore.
(Oh, wait, I guess they *are* pretending — they’re apparently drawing a distinction between a *state* grand jury indictment, which might be a “political manipulation of the process”, and a *federal* indictment. Wow. Nice one.)
And how should the Democrats respond to this? I like the suggestion of [Matt Deatherage]:
> [S]top pretending they’re the majority-in-exile, and start being a real opposition party. That doesn’t mean opposing sensible policies for its own sake, as the GOP does — it means making the majority live with every single one of its decisions.
> Democrats have to flood the broadcast, cable, and radio shows now as much as Republicans have ever done, and every story is about Tom DeLay. Every story about legislation is about Tom DeLay’s imminent indictment. Every process story is about how his money controls the House so completely that … most of the GOP members clearly want to adopt a pro-crime rule that says, “We don’t care if our leaders commit felonies to gain more power.” Every political story is about Tom DeLay’s corruption and illegal activities. Every one of them.
[Matt Deatherage]: http://friends.macjournals.com/mattd/2004/11/17#a990