Defending DeLay

No limits. No limits at all.

The shamelessness of the House Republicans apparently knows no bounds.

Having changed their own rule to allow one of their leaders (in this case Tom DeLay) to keep serving even after an indictment, they now plan to rewrite the rules of the Ethics committee — always split evenly along party lines — so that a tie vote kills an investigation. Just to make it clear that GOP Ethics Committee members are expected to act as partisans rather than impartial arbitrators, they also going to replace the current Ethics Committee chairman — who had the audacity to vote for last year’s reprimands of DeLay — with one of DeLay’s Texas cronies, who wrote a check to DeLay’s defense fund out of his campaign account.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Texas Republicans plan to retrospectively legalize the corporate campaign contributions DeLay might be charged with having laundered, and to change the system under which the Travis County DA investigates corruption in the state government, and give that authority to the tame State Attorney General.

I’m not sure whether a legislative action could ever be charged as an obstruction of justice, but if so, this would seem to be the case.

[The Houston Chronicle has a blistering editorial on the GOP’s DeLay shenanigans. See The Stakeholder for continuing updates.]

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

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