We spouted off weeks ago about the (ahem) gentleman's agreement in the U.S. House of Representatives that no charges of wrong-doing had been brought to the House Ethics Committee against EITHER party since 1997, a truce that winked at corruption. After House Speaker Jim Wright and House Speaker Newt Gingrinch were both brought down by ethics complaints, the two parties decided it was best to let corruption flourish in silence, lest someone get the idea that shenanigans were happening up there. The chief beneficiary of this deaf, blind, and dumb policy has been Tom DeLay, who has been known to use the Department of Homeland Security as a private police force against Texas Democrats.
Well ... the "truce" is about to be broken. The Washington Post is publishing news that DeLay's fellow Texas congressman Rep. Chris Bell plans to file charges against DeLay with the House Ethics Committee. He accuses DeLay of soliciting campaign contributions in return for legislative favors, laundering illegal campaign contributions through a Texas political action committee, and improperly involving a federal agency in a Texas partisan matter (the aforementioned use of the Department of Homeland Security).
Well, DeLay and his boys are simply livid. A DeLay ally, Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-Calif.), said Republicans "are going to have to respond in kind" by filing ethics charges against key Democrats. From now on, he said in an interview, it's a matter of "you kill my dog, I'll kill your cat." "Doolittle said he plans to file ethics charges against a prominent Democrat but would not name the target."
Let the cow chips fall! If there are corrupt Democrats who need flushing, flush away! But since the Republicans have been running that particular joint for almost a decade now, they bear the greater onus.
And it couldn't happen to a finer fella than DeLay.