Friday, December 31, 2004

Operation CYA

Want to place yourself above the law? Just get elected to Congress.

The Washington Post reports today that House Republicans are planning a rules change that would essentially allow House members to get away with egregious ethics violations as long as their party refused to investigate them. The proposal comes a little more than a month after the GOP voted to allow party leaders to retain their posts even if they are indicted on felony charges. That move, of course, aimed to protect House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, who is at the center of a criminal investigation that has led to the indictments of three of his associates on money-laundering charges.

The Post's story also reveals that Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., plans to replace House Ethics Committee chairman U.S. Rep. Joel Hefley, R-Colo., who led the committee when DeLay was admonished twice earlier this year. The likely new chairman? U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith, who just so happens to be one of DeLay's buddies from Texas.

How convenient. But hey, I'm sure our venerable elected officials have nothing to hide and are acting entirely in our best interests.

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