In an ethics stalemate that is rivaling the most partisan legislative struggles, House Republicans are proposing an investigation of Majority Leader Tom DeLay while threatening to put several Democrats under scrutiny as well.
Republicans made their second attempt in two weeks Wednesday to get a deadlocked House ethics committee functioning again, adding the new proposal to blunt Democratic demands for an investigation of DeLay. Some House Republicans have acknowledged the steady Democratic attacks have made them nervous.
Democrats gave no ground. They said they wouldn't allow the evenly divided committee to conduct investigations unless Republicans reversed a rule providing for automatic dismissal of cases.
So it looks like the heat has gotten hot enough for the right-wingers to try and get a little pathetic political cover.
And make no mistake about it: that's all it is. If anyone tells you that the Republicans are actually suddenly concerned about Tom DeLay's ethics, you are cordially invited to laugh mockingly in his face.
He's their bagman, and every single one of them has politically benefitted from his corruption.
Keep in mind: Last January, the Ethics Committee dumped all members who were believed to be insufficiently loyal to Delay.
They changed the ethics rules so that one party could unilaterally kill a complaint and they did it specifically to shield DeLay from ethics complaints.
And they did this because they were OUTRAGED that committee members had had the sheer gall to admonish DeLay for unethical behavior.
In other words, the Republicans are now offering to investigate DeLay with a committee that they intentionally rendered non-functional so that it COULDN'T properly investigate DeLay.
And the Democrats are dead right to demand a bipartisan rewrite of the Ethics Committee's rules to give those rules some damned teeth again so that they CAN investigate. Any findings of the current committee will be extremely suspect, since the current committee operates under rules that were specifically formulated to protect the person who is currently under suspicion.
DeLay insists that he's clean.
Well, if he's so damned clean, why did the Republicans go to such gigantic lengths to to protect him from scrutiny?
Unless the whole stinking pack of them wishes to share in his corruption and disgrace, they have to stop protecting him from the consequences of his own actions.
As long as they continue to protect him, they are all equally guilty.
And they deserve the political hanging that they shall receive.