Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Jury Rigging

The Moose observes that the House Republicans will "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe", in order to assure the political survival of America's number one Bug Man and Majority Leader.

Apparently, the House Republican leadership has made its New Year's resolution the protection of Tom DeLay who may soon find himself on the ugly end of a felony indictment. The Washington Post reports today that Hastert plans to remove Ethics Committee Chairman Joel Hefley because the panel previously admonished the House's Exterminator in Chief.

"Although Hastert (Ill.) has not made a decision, the expectation among leadership aides is that the chairman, Rep. Joel Hefley (R-Colo.), long at odds with party leaders because of his independence, will be replaced when Congress convenes next week.

"The aides said a likely replacement is Rep. Lamar S. Smith, one of DeLay's fellow Texans, who held the job from 1999 to 2001. Smith wrote a check this year to DeLay's defense fund. An aide said Smith was favored for his knowledge of committee procedure."

To the DeLay Republicans, we are a nation that believes in the rule of money rather than law. Mr. Smith clearly established his credentials to be Ethics Chair by the simple and charitable gesture of writing a check to one of the Committee's targets. The House Republicans have ushered in a new era of checkbook democracy.

It is evident that the elephant is deeply worried about the fate of the Bugman. Soon after the election, Republicans reversed the rule forbidding an indicted leader to serve. Now, they may be stacking the Ethics Committee in DeLay's favor. The Post story continues,

The effort by DeLay and his allies to preserve his leadership post, even if he faces criminal charges, is one of the most sensitive issues facing Republicans as the new Congress begins. If Hefley is replaced by Smith, it is another signal by House leaders that they will stand by DeLay. "It certainly seems they're circling the wagons," said a GOP staff member who declined to be identified

The Moose feels the elephant's pain.

-- Posted at 3:26 PM | Link to this post | Email this post