Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Will House Republicans Take Reform Seriously?

The fact that the House took the month of January off in order to increase Tom DeLay's chances of staying on as Majority Leader was not a good sign that Republicans take the need for reform seriously. If one looks at the nearly moribund House ethics committee, it is presently being dusted off for public relations purposes and doesn't actually seem to be investigating anyone; the leadership is under the illusion that it will be sufficient for the ethics committee to pass new rules and guidelines for another wave of Cunninghams and DeLays to ignore. The Republican caucus does not appear as yet to have come to grips with the level of corruption not just within its ranks, but within its leadership. Tom DeLay has now resigned as Majority Leader as a result of his growing legal troubles but he hasn't quite taken himself out of the game as ThinkProgress noted on Monday:
When DeLay announced his official resignation on Saturday, he also announced he was “reclaiming” his seat on the powerful Appropriations Committee.

Why is there a seat available? From the San Diego Union Tribune, 12/10/05:

"A vacancy on the panel occurred earlier this week when Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, R-Rancho Santa Fe, formally resigned from Congress after pleading guilty to charges that he accepted bribes from defense contractors."

Should be a smooth transition.
When the fox is moved from one hen house to another, the fox's behavior is likely to be the same. Pardon me for stating something that is obvious to most of the world but it appears Washington has trouble these days understanding such things. The Republican-controlled Congress has the same problem as President Bush: a growing lack of credibility that public relations cannot massage.

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