As the year comes to a close, the Moose asks where have you gone Newt Gingrich, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you?
The Moose offers this query because Gingrich's former colleagues seem intent on undoing everything their Moses accomplished. Say what you will about Speaker Newt, he was a determined reformist who attempted to transform the way the House did business.
However, the DeLay Republicans have something else in mind. When the new Congress forms next week, the Delayicans plan to reverse long standing ethics rules in the House to protect their leaders and advance their agenda of transactional democracy. From today's Washington Post,
"House Republican leaders are urging members to alter one of the chamber's fundamental ethics rules, which would make it harder for lawmakers to discipline a colleague.
"The proposed change would essentially negate a general rule of conduct that the ethics committee has often cited in admonishing lawmakers -- including Majority Leader Tom DeLay -- for bringing discredit on the House even if their behavior was not covered by a specific regulation. Backers of the rule, adopted three decades ago, say it is important because the House's conduct code cannot anticipate every instance of questionable behavior that might reflect poorly on the chamber."
The article also notes that the Delayicans will reverse two additional rules,
"Republicans, returning to the Capitol on Tuesday after increasing their House majority by three seats in the Nov. 2 election, also want to relax a restriction on relatives of lawmakers accepting foreign and domestic trips from groups interested in legislation before the House.
A third proposed rule change would allow either party to stop the House ethics committee from investigating a complaint against a member."
What's next? A drive-up window on the side of the Capitol where lobbyists can conveniently drop off their checks and carry-out their desired legislation? And the window can be attended to by a friendly Tom DeLay who can urge the lobbyists to "super-size" it!
The Moose can only believe that Newt must be downcast and glum over the behavior of his progeny. DeLay was always Newt's adversary - couldn't Newt just offer a few choice words on Fox to admonish these betrayers of his legacy?
The Delayicans might be the gravediggers of GOP majority status.