What's A Little Indictment Among Friends?
Well, they went ahead and did it: House Republicans voted today to repeal their 1993 caucus rule requiring leadership figures to step aside temporarily if indicted for a felony involving a potential sentence of two or more years. The step was taken in anticipation that House GOP Whip Tom (The Hammer) DeLay might be about to hear from a grand jury in Austin, Texas, in reference to a DeLay-related shakedown effort to (1) get corporate money to (2) elect enough Republican legislators to (3) re-redistrict Texas House seats to (4) further entrench DeLay and his colleagues in control of the House.
This vote protects DeLay's power against an indictment, but if he is indicted, he'll have to stand trial, unless he pulls an Adam Clayton Powell and just stays the hell away from his home state for the foreseeable future. And if he's convicted, nothing short of a get-out-of-jail-free card from his buddy the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, could keep him hammerin' away in DC. But at this point, friends and neighbors, I wouldn't put much of anything past these guys. They are truly out of control and drunk on power, apparently believing they have a mandate to do whatever they want.
I can't add much in vitriol to what the DLC said today in the New Dem Daily, or what my colleague The Moose, who knows these guys like St. Augustine knew the Manichees, said as well.
In my experience, the two sins the Good Lord tends to punish most rapidly are self-righteousness and hypocrisy. When you've got both, from the party that styles itself as the guardians of moral values and godliness, I think we'll see some thunderbolts pretty soon.