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Man, those guys on the other side of aisle sure have been reeling lately.
House Republican leaders, acknowledging that ethics disputes are taking a heavy toll on the party's image, decided yesterday to rescind a controversial rule change that led to the three-month shutdown of the ethics committee, according to officials who participated in the talks.

Republicans touched off a political uproar in January by changing a rule that had required the ethics committee to continue considering a complaint against a House member if there was a deadlock between the committee's five Republicans and five Democrats. The January change reversed this, calling for automatic dismissal of an ethics complaint when a deadlock occurs.

Democrats rebelled against that and other changes -- saying Republicans were trying to protect House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) from further ethics investigations -- and blocked the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, as the ethics panel is officially known, from organizing for the new Congress [...]

A House Republican leadership aide said that the automatic-dismissal rule is "the rule that is most commonly believed to be designed to protect Tom DeLay" and that it was "impossible to win the communications battle" on it.

I like to say that while in the minority, we have to savor the few victories we can get. But lately, it's been a virtual buffet, with Republican numbers collapsing under the weight of GOP corruption, social security privatization, the Schiavo fiasco, and the Nuclear Option power grab.  

And this one is huge, marking another setback for corrupt House leader Tom DeLay, who will now face those ethics investigations he worked so hard to avoid.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:18 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Loose lips aplenty... (4.00)
    These guys are up for reelection next year, and more and more Bush and DeLay are looking like political liabilities. The ship is sinking and I smell lots of rats.

    When your dream comes true, You're out one dream ~ Nerissa Nields

    by redlami on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:15:30 AM PDT

    •  Without a doubt (4.00)
      Social Security and the "Culture of Life" have finally become the hot potatos they should be.

      "NATURAL GAS IS HEMISPHERIC. I LIKE TO CALL IT HEMISPHERIC IN NATURE BECAUSE IT IS A PRODUCT THAT WE CAN FIND IN OUR NEIGHBORHOODS." - G.W.BUSH

      by Closet VB Coder on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:27:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I guess Social Security (4.00)
        really IS the third rail of politics.

        "We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders wont let them write "fuck" on their airplanes because it's obscene" Col. Kurtz

        by green917 on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:36:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think it's mostly (3.80)
          that the D's have started fighting.  They did not meekly accept their loss ont he rules change... they refused to organize the ethics committee.  And the pugs came out with several different ploys to blame it on the D's, but our guys never gave in.  And we won.  We will win many more battles the same way.  When the D's don't oppose anything, everyone assumes that the stuff the pugs are doing is not objectionable.
          •  No, I don't think so (4.00)
            The D's have been fighting all along, but they haven't been being successful, and, unfortunately, nothing succeeds like success.  As long as it looked like the Repugnant-Cants would win every battle, what the D's said didn't matter.  We were an irrelevant, and therefore out of touch, elite.

            I'm betting that the Schiavo debacle will come to be seen as a turning point.  The D's were right about Schiavo -- and, suddenly, the country started saying "Maybe the dems aren't just an out of touch elite".  Right now, the out of touch elite is the American Taliban -- and the R's are their slaves.  That framing is a huge win for us.

            •  They went to far (none)
              Dems have done an excellent job.  It seems they have a strategy of leading Reps to the water, and getting them to drink.  Instead of fighting an out of touch agenda, we let them get out their message.  We watch as they self destruct under their own self-righteousness.
              If they haven't quite pissed of the general public yet, we nudge them.  Give them some encouragement, and load the gun they are about to shoot themselves in the leg with.  Dems were right all along.  I think the public is starting to appreciate us after not having a voice of reason in government.

              "NATURAL GAS IS HEMISPHERIC. I LIKE TO CALL IT HEMISPHERIC IN NATURE BECAUSE IT IS A PRODUCT THAT WE CAN FIND IN OUR NEIGHBORHOODS." - G.W.BUSH

              by Closet VB Coder on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 09:36:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  agreed (none)
              success does makes you friends but that success came through a lot of hard work & dems getting up & fighting.

              although i don't think the Dems have ALL been fighting & were before without effective leadership & unity.

              kudos to harry reid, nancy pelosi (the original ass-kicker), and howard dean for providing this party & progressives the leadership they deserve!

              speaking of which.  you get the government you deserve.  

              the deans, reids, boxers & pelosis of the world are where they are b/c of activism of the netroots & grassroots core.  the people.  (if that's not too cheesy).

              we are finally, i think, working hard enough to deserve the government we've wanted.

              good victory.

            •  I kinda disagree..... (none)
              Yes, the repubs did control the agenda and the votes, making Dems rather irrelevant.

              But what pissed me off is when the Dems, realizing that their negative votes would be meaningless, would suddenly find some reason to go along with the repubs and vote with the repubs. I guess they were trying to find ways to get along. But in doing so, I felt the Dems gave - not sold - their souls to the devil (repubs, of course).

              I clearly understand that the Dems' votes may have been meaningless so far as stopping the repub agenda. But the Dems simply rolled over and played dead rather than standing up to the repubs and casting votes of conscience - even if those were losing votes.

              A great example of the Dems' mistake of trying to get along was Kerry's vote on Iraq - rather than just stand up and clearly state 'this is bullshit, I vote no', Kerry tried to nuance his way into voting yes, saying no while saying yes, etc. That killed him in the election last Nov.

              As the old tried-and-true saying goes: "He who stands for nothing will fall for anything"

              I think the Dems are finally standing up for what their conscience thinks is right for the country. And even tho they may still get rolled on votes, things are starting to look good for the Dems. The Schiavo situation is a great example of things working out our way even tho the vote went against us!

              *Evil flourishes when good men do nothing*

              by clueless on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 11:30:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  i don't think it's quite that (none)
              The Dems are fighting back more and they seem to be willing to fight on whatever territory is there rather than desperately hoping they'll get the fight they want.  Remember how Daschle and Gephardt pushed the Iraq stuff through in the vain hope that they'd have enough time to turn the  debate back to prescription drugs, social security, and jobs.  Reid seems to be willing to change tactics with changes in the situation.  Daschle never could.  As any chess player knows the mark of a terrible strategist is to not change plans with changes on the board.
              Also, the Dems now know for sure that there's no reason to cooperate.  There just aren't as many moderate to conservative Dems left that might cross the aisles to lend support for some issues as there once were and the one's still there know they've nothing to gain by helping Bush.  If Nelson switched sides on Social Security he knows Bush'd still come to Nebraska and send every dime he could there to knock him out.  Republicans are a lot more willing to back dumb bills if they can get a nominal Dem or two to back them.  Schiavo doesn't help them and I don't like to say one moment changed it all, but if there is a moment it'd be early on whent he Dems stayed united on Social Security.  
          •  Don't forget the blogosphere (none)
            The Thugs lie just as readily as they always have.  (Wasn't Scotty saying just the other day that the use of the filibuster to block judicial nominations was "unprecedented"? - sheesh!)  But now your site, Kos, and many others get the facts out so quickly that the lies are more obvious and embarrassing than they used to be.  So now the media sometimes has to call the Thugs on their bullshit.
    •  Yes (4.00)
      There is justice and this is a good day for America.

      We choose hope over despair; possibilities over problems, optimism over cynicism.-John Edwards

      by wishingwell on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:42:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I see the reason for smiles... (4.00)
      But for some reason, I fear that this momentum that we're building is going to backfire.  While we pound away at DeLay, we're not only ignoring the issues (which, frankly, I think is something we NEED to take time to define in the months leading up to the next cycle), but we're playing a highly superficial game of character assassination.  

      I don't think this should be our ONLY means of attack.  We need to be honest with ourselves, there are skeletons in the closets of several leaders in our party.  How long do we expect the GOPers to sit there and take it, before they turn the barrel right back in our faces?

      Bottom line:  We NEED to stick to defining and relaying the issues!  OUR issues.

      •  character assassination? (none)
        I agree DeLay is only a bug-killer and none of his ethics violations are enough to make me swoon, but c'mon, the GOP invented this game. If yr invited to a turkey shoot, you shoot the turkeys. If you don't think the activists of the extreme right are already gunning for any and every Democrat that's been elected recently (and some who haven't been for a while) go to someplace like Free Republic to see just how vicious these people are. Calling them "wing-nuts" is a compliment! They are absolutely prepared to devour their own elected Republicans who don't hew close enough to the party line.

        I've been swayed to believing that the kos take is correct; why should we be offering our good ideas first, when the GOP has had a miserable record of defending their indefensible proposals?

        let 'em bleed to (political) death...

  •  Good news? (4.00)
    I have to believe they're only doing thisbecause the fix is in.  Delay to get another wrist slap without any real consequences at best.

    Hope I'm wrong.

    It is a very mixed blessing to be brought back from the dead.

    by Steven D on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:15:38 AM PDT

    •  I think they may be ready to dump him. (4.00)
      And have it over and done with long before 06 rolls around to taint their elections (which it will anyway...)

      In the midst of life we are in debt, etc.

      by ablington on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:19:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If they're so ready to toss DeLay over the side (4.00)
        they why is Bush appearing in public on the Bamboozlepalooza tour holding hands with him?
        •  Very odd (4.00)
          I had thought Rove was the source of the drip-drip-drip revelations coming out against DeLay the last few weeks.

          It's still possible he's playing both sides here. But now I'm starting to doubt it. Bush really needs DeLay in there to have any chance of forwarding his agenda in his second term.

          I think they're standing by DeLay. For now. But there are certainly some in the GOP who are not. Under the surface, they are already a fractured party. And those fractures will become more and more public, very soon.

          •  There are Republicans (4.00)
            who are very unhappy with the group running their party.  Some of those Republicans may even want to make a run for the WH in '08.  They have a definite interest in neutering Delay now.  

            But Bush needs Delay if he is to get anything through the House.  Delay may not command a majority of the votes, but enough Republicans would turn on Bush if he asked, and most Dems will oppose all of Bush's stuff, so Bush can do nothing without Delay.  That's why he is taking the risk of sticking with him.

            •  I also think (4.00)
              there are many Republicans in the House who are dead scared of DeLay being used against them in 2006, even though they might love the guy.

              Bush, having nothing personally to lose, doesn't care as much. Rove, seeing 3 years of lame-duckness ahead, needs DeLay's tentacles to keep Bush relevant to the national discussion at all - at least on domestic issues.

              The GOP House may be in the early stages of actually starting to assert itself. Of course, if and when DeLay goes, it will all be papered over and they'll blame the Dems for getting rid of him. Unless some serious intra-party tensions boil up above the surface before then.

          •  It must might be (4.00)
            It just might be that Republicans up for re election in 06 might not be as loyal to Delay as Bush is. I say might as it depends on a lot of factors in the future and the climate of the countr next year how loyal they will stay.  Republicans are probably thinking Bush has nothing to lose, he is not running again. But they probably are feeling the heavy pressure for their own hides.  I think we will see more of this from those facing election next year because if blind loyalty to Delay or Bush costs them the election or if they have doubts, they will not run as far right wingers. They want to win more than they care about Bush or Delay.

            We choose hope over despair; possibilities over problems, optimism over cynicism.-John Edwards

            by wishingwell on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:45:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yes (none)
            The whole point of having Delay on the Bamboozlepalooza tour is a sort-of "in your face" to the Republicans who are jumping ship: "we support this guy, and if any of you got a problem with that, you know what we can do with problems..."
                                        SpecialEFX
          •  the exile (none)
            Come on, Bush/Rove are actively pulling the rug out from under DeLay.  The ride in Air Force 1 is just to make DeLay think that he's still OK and to keep him in the dark about the fact that he is about to get whacked.  Haven 't you seen your mafia movies?  They are the best guide to understanding how this White House works.  We may have played a role in getting this started, but we are now just spectators to a hit.  
        •  I have no idea. (none)
          Delusions of grandeur? Maybe Kos was right, maybe Rove took a sick day on the day W decided to extend his tour and add DeLay.

          In the midst of life we are in debt, etc.

          by ablington on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:33:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well (4.00)
          Bush himself has nothing to worry about, he won't be running for another office so tainting himself is not a concern, futhermore, it may be an attempt to camaflage the current rift in the party, showing a united front.
          Finally, if Delay can pull this off and squeak out, Bushco probably feels there is no better person than the hammer to have on their side when it comes to trying to pound their fellow republicans into submission when it comes time to vote.
          It's a win win situation for Bush. He may have something to gain and really has nothing to lose.

          Prisoner of hope.

          by comeon on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:38:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think the public will see it that way... (none)
            With Bush's numbers already tanking, hanging out with the Bugman seems more like political suicide, ESPECIALLY if he's ousted, which at this point is more than likely...either way, Delay won't help with the public image--I think it's more about sending a message...

                                    SpecialEFX

                                         

    •  Yeah, I think your'e right (4.00)
      While this is a delicious retreat by the GOP, and we should savor it, don't forget that DeLay already purged any Republicans on the Ethics Committee who had any independence, including the Chair.  So any "investigation" that proceeds from a 5-5 deadlock will still, if I understand correctly, be essentially run by DeLay stooges.

      US Dead in Iraq = 1574
      WMD Found = 0 (And that's final!)

      by Glenn in NYC on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:20:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Investigations... (4.00)
        ...are done by the staff, not by the members.  This is not to say that it's not a somewhat political process; it is.  And most of the staff owe their jobs to the majority.  But this doesn't mean the staff that owes its jobs to the minority won't be poking around as well.

        What will be interesting to see is the reaction from the Democrats on the committee as the investigation progresses.  These investigations are supposedly shrouded in secrecy.  I know people who have done transcribing work for the transcripts of the committee meetings, and there are confidentiality agreements even at that level; the transcripts can't be emailed because of fear of interception over the Internet.

        Believe me, if this turns into a partisan circus poised to just slap Bugboy on the wrist, we WILL hear from the Dems on the committee.  At this point, the Rethugs will have a huge amount of egg on their faces.

        There will be pressure on the Rethugs to make this an investigation with at least some teeth.  I'm not optimistic as to how they will hold out, especially since DeLay handpicked most of the majority members on the committee.  The proof in the pudding will be how the Dems on the committee react.  Watch especially Stephanie Tubbs Jones.  She's an outspoken liberal firebrand who will not hold her tongue if there are hijinx.

        BTW, the other Dems are Mollohan (WV-Ranking), Green (TX), Roybal-Allard (CA), and Doyle (PA).

        Piss off Frank Luntz: don't use Republican issue frames like "Social Security crisis."

        by DC Pol Sci on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:42:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Conflict of Interest Committee (none)
          How many of the members of the ethics committee have either 1) accepted funds from a Delay controlled PAC or 2) contributed funds to Delay's defense fund or 3) both?  These are superb "hole cards" for the Dems...I hope we hear LOTS about this at the appropriate time.
        •  Retaliation (none)
          On CNN this a.m. Hastert (I believe it was) was threatening retaliatory ethics investigations against a number of Dems. Maybe they're hoping threats will help keep things in check.

          I am not being paid by any party or individual to express these views.

          by Alien Abductee on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 11:20:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That was my first thought, too (4.00)
      Maybe it's from being beaten down year after year, but I'm a little cynical on this. It's out of character for Republicans to make such a blatant reversal.

      If he gets what he deserves, I will believe that we Democrats have really turned a corner.

      •  out of character? (none)
        of course it is. they are getting their butts whipped on every proposal that comes out of the mouths of their puppet-masters. except for the die-hard GOP true believers/fanatics, the majority of Americans are, if not quite aghast, are at least a little leery of such obvious deck-stacking. i live in a thoroughly Repub county, but these are paycheck-Repubs, not people who want to cram an ideology they probably don't support down the open craws of everyone else. house of rep's get 4 years and then they face the voters again...they can look at the polling numbers and do their own math. these are  the people that have to come up with a budget that doesn't cause their constituent's heads to explode. they want no part of the toxic Tom DeLay.
    •  my thoughts exactly (4.00)
      Way too early to claim complete victory on this. There are plenty of other ways DeLay can stifle an ethics probe.

      Still, it's at least a minor victory. Standing up firmly to the BS offer, and rejecting laughable GOP claims that the Democrats were the ones obstructing the investigation.

      They must be feeling the pressure with comments like this:

      "There will be a [political] cost to this, but if he had not done this, the cost would continue to increase," said the adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because Hastert had not announced his decision.
  •  It's truely a shame (4.00)
    Who would have ever guessed that such a fine upstanding citizen as Hot Tub Tom would face yet another investigation.  Must be the evil Democrats again.  Certainly nothing of his own doing.

    Party of responsibility, my ass...

  •  They were against it before they were for it (4.00)
    Sounds, um, familiar?

    I did not receive $ from Ketchum, U.S. Department of Ed or HHS to write this---though I wish I had.

    by Volvo Liberal on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:16:33 AM PDT

  •  Makes you wanna rip up (none)
    that NY Times ed-op from Bob Dole calling the Dems a bad example of minority power.
  •  C-SPAN2 NOW: Biden giving GREAT speech (4.00)
    against the filibuster; he just got 15 more minutes.  See my diary (NOW: Biden blasting, etc.) on the first 15.  He's being his passionate self. . . .
  •  This is not enough (4.00)
    Just changing the one rule is simply not enough.  The rule allowing a congressman and potential witnesses to share the same lawyer before the committee has to go as well or any investigation would be meaningless.

    Our guys on the Ethics Committee have been great.  They should continue to hold firmly and steadfastly for a return to the old rules.

    God and ego are not equivalent expressions of reality.

    by Othniel on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:19:47 AM PDT

    •  I think the whole package (none)
      of rule changes is getting tossed.  I think.
      •  They are just posturing (4.00)
        The full article conatins the following:

        "A House Republican leadership aide said that the automatic-dismissal rule is "the rule that is most commonly believed to be designed to protect Tom DeLay" and that it was "impossible to win the communications battle" on it.

        Leaving his office last night, Hastert would not say what form his recommended changes will take and suggested that one option might be to lengthen the time before the automatic dismissal occurs, to perhaps 90 or 120 days."

        They are not rolling back the new rules at all, just modifying one of them, and playing the press.

        God and ego are not equivalent expressions of reality.

        by Othniel on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 09:02:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bravo (4.00)
    Isn't this something like ex post CYA?
  •  Solidarity forever! (4.00)
    This shows what even a minority can accomplish if they hang tough and stay united. Kudos to Mollahan (sp?)and all the Ethics Committee Dems for staying patient and focused for as long as it took.

    DeLay's going to be getting more than a wrist-slap. There's indictment's coming down the pike, and Abramoff's going to be singing like Pavarotti.

    The day is coming when DeLay will be sitting in his cell, remembering that ride on AF1, and trying to figure out where he went wrong.....

    As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

    by sidnora on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:23:06 AM PDT

  •  1 of 3? (4.00)
    This isn't really clear to me...

    The ethics committee's top Democrat, Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (W.Va.), said that if the Republicans rescind all three rules changes made in January, Democrats would vote to let the ethics committee operate.

    Aren't they agreeing to just drop one of three rule changes from January? Doesn't that mean that they're still giving DeLay some wiggle room? What are the other rules that remain?

    Republicans on the committee say they will launch an investigation of DeLay's handling of overseas trips and gifts as soon as the impasse over the rules is broken.

    What does this mean really?

    mrC

    nuclear option = Bill Frist. Join the Google Bomb today!

    by mrCurmudgeon on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:24:46 AM PDT

    •  Yaou are right (none)
      They are only talking about changing one of the new rules, not rolling back all three.  Our Guys will not be suckered into this.

      God and ego are not equivalent expressions of reality.

      by Othniel on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 09:05:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm Almost Tempted ... (none)
    ...just for the giggles, to write a thank you note to my Congressperson Tom Cole, handpicked by DeLay to look the other way on the ethics committee.

    "Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups." -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by GreenSooner on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:26:27 AM PDT

    •  You should! (4.00)
      Although you'll just get a nice form letter that only tangentially relates to your comment (as you probably already know).

      While money doesn't talk, it swears; Obscenity, who really cares; Propaganda, all is phony. -Bob Dylan

      by clarkent on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:39:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "...to win the communications battle" (4.00)
    There it is, folks.  

    Everything is advertising.  

    That is all.

  •  Markos - Beware of the Trojan Horse (4.00)
    We need roll back of all rule changes, not just some of them.  Let's wait to see what is officially coming out of Hastert/Hasting's office.
  •  To quote Han Solo . . (4.00)
    Great kid, but don't get cocky!

    Truly, this is great news.  Don't get me wrong.  It's just that we cannot stop until we run then into the ground and piss on their political graves.

    Keep up the good fight, Everyone!!

    (And let's remember these lessons for when we're back in power.)

  •  Hope the Dems capitalize (4.00)
    This flip-flopping in the GOP sure does look bad. Why did they vote to change the rules in the first place again? Everyone who voted for it must have been complicit...every Dem opponent should use this heavily. Ethics and morals must be different things. Amen.
  •  Getting DeLay out (4.00)
    The first time I saw this I realized what a brilliant maneuver they think this will be.  

    1. It gives them the "We do care about ethics" soundbite without actually doing anything like, say... acting on their ethics.

    2. It makes Tom Delay step down from a leadership position if when he is indicted, getting him out of the way without making anyone face his particularly heinous brand of vile.  

    But the problem with this is that Delay will still be a Congressman, and he's going to rage, rage against the dying of the Right.  They don't realize that we're going to be calling for his resignation whether he's Majority Leader or not, and when he is indicted, they've just handed us another victory in the "DeLay steps down from leadership position... " headlines.  Of course, he'll be forced to, but who cares?  That will be the headline, and it will seem/be a huge defeat for The Hammer.  

    Sometimes a man is offered the right choice and the wrong choice, and he only misses by one.

    by NonSanaeMentis on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:27:37 AM PDT

  •  A hope... (none)
    I am so sick of the partisan attitudes permeating in Washington. I feel like the Republicans generally, and Delay specifically, hold a substantial amount of responsibility for this phenomena. Maybe I am thinking naively, but this ethics retreat could be a sign that Republicans have been forced to understand the importance of bipartisanship. To mend their image, it could be possible a new period of bipartisan accountability will come about. And while i am dreaming, maybe FoxNews will live up to its fair and balanced slogan and George Bush wil think for himself.

    Just my thoughts.

    "Oh, how I miss the days of Monica Lewinsky..."

    by LawSkoolPunk on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:29:13 AM PDT

    •  Sorry to say this..... (none)
      but that's a real nice little world you're living in.

      This change has nothing to do with bipartisanship. It's got everything to do with repubs' covering their own asses.

      Once any politician becomes radioactive...he's history. Makes no difference which party nor how powerful.

      Delay is becoming too radioactive for the repubs, especially those that are up for reelection next year.

      As was noted in other comments above, Bush is NOT up for reelection and therefore doesn't give a shit what anybody thinks about him and is therefore willing to make public kissy-face with Delay. See if anyone else makes public kissy-face with Delay (I would tend to doubt it unless they are in the extreme religious neocon group).

      *Evil flourishes when good men do nothing*

      by clueless on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 11:53:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's not the lapses, (4.00)
    It's the cover-up. Delay was censured 3 times, and we talked a lot about it, but nobody else did. Those three censures were certainly not going to bring down the Republican majority in '06. The worst case scenario for Delay, if the pugs had done nothing, would have been an ongoing, but fairly quiet ethics committee investigation that eventually resulted in more censures that would have also been yawned at. Simply yanking the objective Republican members from the committee and replacing them with defense-fund contributing cronies would have allowed an investigation but effectively scuttled any censure. By instituting the automatic dismissal rule Delay created an aura of presumed guilt, and now, even if the committee splits on party lines over the seriousness of the ethical lapses, he looks bad.

    As much credit as our side is due for capitalizing on the pugs missteps, the GOP truly swallowed the mandate kool-aid last fall, and it's coming back up in technicolor heaves now. Oh, yeah.

    "So let me get this straight- they believe in Social Darwinism, but not um, actual Darwinism??"

    by bonobo on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:30:21 AM PDT

  •  What's most interesting in all of this... (4.00)
    ...is that it's Republicans self-destructing over their own stubbornness and political tone-deafness.  They read the polls, they know what they're doing is poison, and yet, they can't stop.  
    It's completely counter to their image as a disciplined, well-oiled machine.
    •  No, it's not (4.00)
      The machine itself is working well, it has just been put at useless tasks.  That's why they are failing, they're like a robotic ma that keeps walking into a wall; the actuall mechanics are working fine, it's the logic part that seems to e malfunctioning.

      "I think war is a dangerous place." - George Bush

      by Nameless Soldier on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:32:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Stick a fork in Delay, He's done (4.00)
    I only hope that he makes it until 2006.

    "I think war is a dangerous place." - George Bush

    by Nameless Soldier on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:30:56 AM PDT

  •  Never Trust A Pepublican... not anymore! (4.00)
    They are up to something. No doubt... They will say "we are trying" "the Dems are playing politics" blah blah blah... yadda yadda yadda.

    The Dems have to stand firm. No backing down now. Not on this. Not on Fillibuster. Not on Social Security.

    Remember in Clinton's second term the Repubs Blocked ~75 of 230 of Clintons nominations.

    The Dems here are blocking ~10 of 220. Less than 5%. Most Americans would be happy to get 95% of what they want. But Republicans are Greedy. They will kill America, shred the Bill of Rights, and bankrupt the Government... just to get what they want.

    Stand Firm, Dems. Do it for America.

    •  Dems need to stand for more than that. (none)
      Public opinion indicates that the Economy, Iraq and prezidant Bush's approval rating are all in need of major help. Public opinion indicates that Social Security, Ms. Schiavo and filibustering rules should be left alone. The Dems did not fight the Bankruptcy Bill, and I personally think they would have been able to win a compromise. To me, focusing on the biggest fish, the ones that have overwhelming majorities of people backing the Dem position, is less important than fighting the other battles that are raging amid the huge smoke cloud. To me, it makes the Dems look like they'll only fight if they think they can win. Battles are won that way, but the war is not.
      •  I disagree (4.00)
        For the last 10 years, this party has focused on the little fights, trying to force a republican compromise on every bill which came up for vote. During this period, the Republicans consolidated their power more and more and have been very efficient at sidelining the Democrats.

        Now, by fighting the big fights, I think the Democrats are making a statement. They are letting Congress and Americans knowt they are not going to be disregarded. In this manner, they are better positioning themsleves for fighting on the littler issues. While, I agree in the Bankruptcy Bill was not a shining moment, I like that the Democrats stayed focused on making their statement. Why would Republicans make any real compromise if they don't have to? Why do you think they haven't?

        I strongly believe that, from here on out, Republicans will be forced to take notice of the Democrats and their platform.

        "Oh, how I miss the days of Monica Lewinsky..."

        by LawSkoolPunk on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:52:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Read Murshed's Post From Common Cause (4.00)
      Way too early to do celebrating.  We need to be a little cautious here to see what exactly they are reversing.  Check out the Common Cause response.  They have been the even keel group guiding everyone through this epic mess.  Make sure to recommend their post and reaction to this news.
    •  that's what they want (none)
      to Kill America, shred the Bill of Rights and Bankrupt the government - that is their ultimate goal.  They have no qualms to turning the US government into Fascism for their continuing power.  As long as the xians get their "all kneel to OUR god", and the Chamber of Commerce types get the US budget siphoned to them, they care not a fig for the rule of law, or justice, or simple human fairness.
  •  Sorry.... (none)
    This is a fig leaf.  I'm sure they are getting more grief out of the change in the ethics rules rather than the behavior of Delay himself.  So they are gunna tweak them a little, run their kangaroo investigation and then be able to say on HANITY and colmes "Hey, we investigated him, gave the Demos a fair shake, and came up with nothing.  What are they still whining about?"

    "[A] 'Sharecropper's Society' [is] precisely where our trade policies, supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, are taking us." - Warren Buffet

    by RichM on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:33:09 AM PDT

  •  Be wary of this (4.00)
    As in the "Trojan Horse" warning above, I smell a ploy here. With the ethics rules back in effect, the House agrees to scold DeLay once again, wrist-slap him real good this time and then proclaim to the world that the GOP takes care of its own. Meanwhile, The Hammer lives on, free to continue his slimeball politics...
  •  This Time There Are Mastercard Receipts (4.00)
    Priceless.

    We the undersigned urge you to support Federal funding for research using human pluripotent stem cells. -80 Nobel Laureates to Pres. Bush

    by easong on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:35:20 AM PDT

  •  A true victory (none)
    Kos, I have to agree with you, this is a victory.  It is encouraging because it evidences a divide between the standards that the American people hold themselves to and the standards evidenced by those in power.  I will not have my country or my culture defined by the decisions of those who have undergone a moral lobotomy.  The American people's diligent fact-checking and pressure was no doubt essential to this result, we should all be proud of ourselves.  And (I won't say this often) we should be happy that there are Republican leaders that can be reasoned with.

    Sorry to ramble, I'm just so happy.

  •  Note, however, (4.00)
    that they never do things that don't benefit them in some way -- some nefarious way.

    I bet they have plans to accuse Nancy Pelosi and others of ethics violations.

    They might be hoping that this will garner attention that will detract from Delay.

    Bush denies presidential timber.

    by Lumiere on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:37:56 AM PDT

  •  Doing God's Dirty Work (4.00)

    Save Tom DeLay - Godless liberals are out to destroy "The Hammer."  You can help to Save Tom DeLay.  Tell Congress to stop the Ethics investigation and let him get on with doing God's Dirty Work.

  •  The dark side of me asks... (4.00)
    Is there any chance that we will see (once the "5-5 means investigate" rule goes back into effect) nitpicky or even fictitious ethics complaints against Democratic representatives?

    All it would take would be for the 5 Rethuglican Ethics Committee members to vote for an investigation and it wouldn't matter how unsupported or unsubstantial the claim or what the Democratic members thought, said, or voted.

    And remember, the 5 Rethugs on the Ethics Committee were basically hand-picked by Delay...

  •  Don't get cocky, kid (none)
    to quote Han Solo.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:49:32 AM PDT

  •  Cave Schmave (none)
    Sounds to me like they're going to go "nuclear" today.
  •  As the clouds of (4.00)

    Republican troubles continue to gather overhead, it brings to mind a great book I read a few years ago, "The Perfect Storm" by Sebastian Junger.

    The Republicans are orchestrating the "perfect storm" which will help us take back the Senate in 2006.  Works for me.

    Oh, come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help! Help! I'm being repressed! - Monty Python

    by acuppajo on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:50:13 AM PDT

  •  We only need to persuade one Repub (4.00)
    on the committee to sustain the charges.  And right now, the most likely candidate is Vice-Chairwoman Judy Biggert (R-IL13).

    She's the only moderate Repub on the panel.  Look at their ACU ratings:

    Chairman Doc Hastings (WA4):  95
    Vice-Chairwoman Judy Biggert (IL13):  70
    Lamar Smith (TX21):  93
    Melissa Hart:  92
    Tom Cole (OK4):  92

    Her district takes in the southern part of DuPage County--which, as I understand, is the least Republican part of that county.  She votes to whitewash DeLay, and she'll have some 'splaining to do back home.

  •  Quick bit of framing... (4.00)
    Remember, these loses are all fights the Republicans picked.

    "The GOP has been firing blanks from water pistols while liberal Democrats beat White House nominees like rented mules." - Ollie North, 4/22/05

    by HeyThereItsEric on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 08:58:26 AM PDT

  •  mandate? what mandate? (none)
    Slowly the GOP is coming to terms with their mortality.
  •  Save the DeLay (none)
    Let him stay in place, with reduced power and influence, twisting from the gallows and madder and more rabid than ever. Gotta love that this is taking place the DAy After he rides home with Bush. The handshake of death?

    Remember, it's not martial law, it's homeland security. Now get out of our town (hall that is)

    by philinmaine on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 09:13:58 AM PDT

  •  Anybody... (none)
    laying odds on how Tommy-boy DeLay is going to vote on this rules roll-back?  If so, I'd like to place a large wager on "NO."
  •  Planes and Caves (none)
    Bush invites DeLay to Galveston and takes a plane ride with him, publicly reiterates support.

    Everyone finds this rather odd.

    The next day, the Republicans cave on ethics committee rules that are meant mainly to help DeLay, and that are overall destructive to the Republican party "message."

    Coincidence?

    Maybe, maybe not.

  •  Devils Advocate Post (3.00)
    It's amazing how insignificant the Democratic Party has become that we are celebrating these small victories.

    It's still the second inning.  We need a lot more runs.

  •  DeLay on USAT Front Page (none)
    Print edition, bottom of the fold, center:

    Headline: "Donations link DeLay, ethics panel"
    Sub-head: "All GOP members either gave or received money"

    Love it or hate it, USA Today's front page is one of the most widely consumed news sources in America.  The more DeLay ends up there (and on the network news), the better.

  •  If the elections are rigged (4.00)
    ...what do the polls matter?
  •  I hope these are victories (none)
    but I'm waiting until the stake is through the heart and they're buried at the crossroads.

    utahgirl

  •  Nancy Pelosi (none)
    Has Nancy Pelosi issued a statement about this?  I'd love to hear her response.  Has she posted on kos?  I'd REALLY love to see a post from our leader on this one.

    "When people think, Democrats win." - Bill Clinton

    by Todd Beeton on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 09:35:49 AM PDT

  •  The SHIT is hitting the fan! (none)
    This is from the Foundation Center OnLine!!

    DeLay Charity for Children Funded by Corporations, Records Show

    A children's charity established by House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) has been underwritten by several of the nation's largest companies, including some that routinely lobby lawmakers on issues before Congress, the New York Times reports.

    The nineteen-year-old charity, the DeLay Foundation for Kids, which operates out of a post office box near DeLay's home in Texas, has consistently declined to identify its donors, citing their desire for privacy -- and by law, it is not required to do so. But a review of corporate and charitable records shows that recent donors have included AT&T, the Corrections Corporation of America, Exxon Mobil, Limited Brands, and the Southern Company. One of the largest corporate gifts, $100,000, was given last year by the Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America, which manages federal prisons. In addition, AT&T and Exxon Mobil say they have each donated $50,000 to the organization. Lauren Kerr, a spokeswoman for Exxon Mobil, said it was natural that the company would want to aid a charity that helps troubled children in Houston, where it employs a majority of its work force.


  •  Bush & Delay - Yesterday in Texas (none)
    Bet all of that yesterday in Galveston was a debriefing with Delay and the BushCo henchmen making sure they all have their stories straight for the hearings in the near future. Gotta get the strategy planned on how not to divulge anything on what Delay has done and to make sure none of the corruption traces back to the Oval Office (bet it does)and to remind Tom to decieve the public - always. Never ends to amaze me how corrupt this Bush Whitehouse is... makes Nixon look like an amateur.
  •  Give MSNBC credit where it's due... (none)
    This is a great front page pic:

    US Dead in Iraq = 1574
    WMD Found = 0 (And that's final!)

    by Glenn in NYC on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 10:00:41 AM PDT

  •  Will you look... (none)
    What happens when you stick to your guns and not cave.  You can actually stand for something AND win the day!

    Imagine that.

    Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.  

  •  We Still Have To Win On Our Own (none)
    Tom DeLay's problems are predictable and amusing, but we still have to win on our own merit.  Reid suggested a bunch of proposed legislation the other day that he intends to promote under Rule XIV if Frist goes Nuclear.  Reading the proposed legislation, I wonder why we are using those bills as trade bait. They sound a lot like legislative program and reasons to vote Democrat to me.
    •  Agreed! (none)
      That's what I have been waiting to see.  Let's get our legislation out there and known, our policies defined and under the eyes of our citizens!!  

      All too often, people mistake character assassination/discrediting for desperation.  When election time rolls around, our opponents will NOT hesitate to point out all the time we "wasted" pointing fingers and name-calling instead of rebuilding our reputation in our districts and nationally.

      Let's put down the pitchforks and torches and start getting the attention of people in America that are looking for integrity in Washington from their Democratic party.

    •  They're Bait Because ... (none)
      ... it's too long before election 2006 to break them out unless the GOP declares war. None of that legislation would be passed by the current congress. Calling for a floor vote on those yet-to-be-proposed bills are a desperate measure at this point.

      Remember, the general public will not see those bills. They don't hear about happens on the Senate floor unless a President has been impeached or unless the broadcast press features it in a half-hour news show (CNN, MSNBC and FAUXNews doesn't count - not enough eyballs) and it's front-paged repeatedly in the newspapers. It's far too early to do massive direct mailings.

      Yes, they're reasons to vote Democratic. November 2006 is still a year and a half away. Reid's not bluffing, though. If Frist and Cheney go nuclear, the bills will get coverage.

  •  Thanks for front paging the subject of my diary.. (4.00)
      it  got lost in the diary list. I really thought it was important and I am glad to see you found the story and put it on the front page.

    What happens when Bush takes Viagra? he gets taller. Robin Williams

    by Demfem on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 10:46:18 AM PDT

  •  They will start back tracking (none)
    next year.  The ones up for re-election, to make themselves look good and pander for votes.

    Blue guy in a red state.

    by txbirdman on Wed Apr 27, 2005 at 10:58:58 AM PDT

  •  Perspective - Let's Be Sure We Understand (none)
    The ETHICS SCANDAL isn't so much about how the general public feels. There's still a strong feeling that's pervasive amongst the masses that politician=crook.

    It's so damned easy for us to believe that all voters and all citizens pay as much attention as we do, and that when the name TOM DELAY and and the phrase ETHICS SCANDAL are used together, that there's traction among the general public. But that's NOT the really important dynamic at play.

    The real value here is that this protracted story has gained traction with the mainstream media. This may not be a blue dress issue, but it surely has played bigger than Dan Rostenkowski's post office scandal.

    The beauty part? The harder the GOoPers try to defend the Exterminator, the more the meme gets drilled into the collective mind of the reporters, headline editors, talk radio (political and otherwise) hosts, et al. Properly nurtured, it will serve as prologue to other unrelated political stories. Phrases like "Democrats claimed" found in the fifth paragraph will now be replaced, and quotes from Harry Reid (et al.) will be featured in the first two paragraphs.

    Key? The Democrats are well-positioned to actually own the value "Good Government". The GOP has (choose your preferred phrase):

    • broken trust with the public
    • breeched the faith and confidence place with them by the voters
    • failed in their fiduciary duty as keepers of the public trust

    We need to keep hammering these in proper channels. The target is still the media - both the mainstream press, and the folks who deliver popular culture. They, after all, filter thought for the masses.
  •  Yup, (none)
    it's even being talked about overseas:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1469341,00.html

    That little golf trip to Scotland is turning out to be very expensive for all involved, methinks.

  •  Dont let them back down, offer a compromise first (none)
    Reid, Pelosi here is another chance for you to turn chicken, don't let them back down, offer a compromise first to show that once again, its not a matter of who wins but how you play the game and that you know how to be nice.
  •  There is a rumour going around (none)
    that on their recent plane ride together, Bush told Delay it was time to go. Don't know if it's true but it certainly makes sense. I'm sure they would prefer his resignation to a long, drawn-out investigation that would expose a lot of things they'd much rather keep under the radar.

    It would actually be better for our side if Delay had to face the panel but that probably won't happen.

    The white house isn't giving an inch on John Bolton though.

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