Monday, 3 January 2005

Belated sense on DeLay

Since I expressed my annoyance with the GOP for foolishly changing House caucus rules to shield leadership members under indictment, a decision intended to protect Majority Leader Tom DeLay from an alleged partisan witchhunt by a Texas prosecutor,* I’d be remiss if I didn’t praise them for recognizing their mistake and reversing the decision, albeit in response to a decade-overdue decision by the Democrats in the House to adopt stricter ethical standards for their leadership members as well.

As always, James Joyner has more.

Update: Somehow Jazz Shaw (trackback below) characterizes this post as expressing “nothing but praise” for the House GOP members; apparently terms like “belated,” “annoyance,” “foolish,” and “albeit” are overwhelming endorsements of the GOP, not to mention my previous assault on the “dopes” at the DeLay-enabling NRO for having nothing to say about this idiocy. I guess trying to be (ever so slightly) gracious is now tantamount to being a shill. And, yes, the Democrats deserved the shot for only changing their rules when it was to their political advantage, just as the GOP deserved the shot for only reversing its decision when voters expressed outrage toward their behavior.

As to the remaining rules change (dismissing ethics charges when there is a tied vote, instead of keeping them alive), my gut feeling is that its substantive impact will be minimal, but as a symbolic measure I tend to think it’s a stupid move on the part of the GOP.

* Incidentally, I’d be more likely to believe the charges against DeLay if the prosecutor in question, Ronnie Earle, hadn’t taken to the pages of the New York Times to whine about the rules change (þ: Prof. Bainbridge).