Saturday, November 20, 2004

The Rule of Law

Hey, remember when Nixon ran on a "law and order" platform? Yeah, nobody else in the Republican Party can, either:
WASHINGTON -- "And I want to say to you bluntly: You live today with the most corrupt congressional leadership we have seen in the United States in the 20th century. You have to go back to the Gilded Age of the 1870s and 1880s to have anything comparable (to) that we've lived through."
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The words were spoken in February 1992 by a House Republican named Newt Gingrich. Gingrich was then building the momentum that led to the historic Republican takeover of Congress two years later. The GOP modestly called what it was up to a "revolution."
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What's surprising...
Hardly.
...is how shameless House Republicans were on Wednesday in casting aside their 11-year old rule requiring a member of their leadership to step aside temporarily if he or she came under indictment.

The repeal might be called the Tom DeLay Protection Act of 2004. DeLay, the House Majority Leader, is under investigation by Ronnie Earle, the district attorney in Texas' Travis County. Earle, who is a Democrat, is investigating charges that corporate money was used illegally to help Republicans win Texas legislative races in 2002. Republican victories that year paved the way for changes in the state's congressional district lines that helped Republicans win additional seats in Texas this year, solidifying their hold on power.
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Recall how Republicans dismissed any and all who charged that the investigations of President Bill Clinton by special prosecutor Ken Starr were politically motivated. Ah, but those were investigations of a shady Democrat by a distinguished Republican. When a Democrat is investigating a Republican, it can only be about politics. Is that clear?

Rep. Henry Bonilla, the Texas Republican who sponsored the resolution to protect DeLay, said it was designed to protect against "crackpot" prosecutors whose indictments might get in the way of the ability of House Republicans to choose their own leaders. Can't let a little thing like an indictment get in the way of the sovereignty of House Republicans, can we?

"Attorneys tell me you can be indicted for just about anything in this country," said Bonilla. Remember the old days during the Clinton impeachment when Republicans went on and on about the importance of "the rule of law?" Oh well.
Join the Republicans, because Might is Right.

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