The DeLay two-step

Make them pay for it.

In 1993, when Dan Rostenkowsi was indicted, the Republicans in the House were looking for a way of pinning his strictly private financial scandal on the other Democrats in the House. Someone had a clever idea: make it a rule of the House Republican Conference that anyone in a leadership position who was indicted would have to step down. So the rule was duly passed.

Like many of the ideas behind the Gingrich Revolution (remember term limits?), that turns out to be sauce for the goose only. With Tom DeLay facing indictment in the fundraising scandal surrounding the Texamander, the House Republican Conference is expected to rescind the rule tomorrow. (Hat tips: The Stakeholder, via Kos.)

What should we do about it? Why, we should make them pay.

The contemporary Republican Party has demonstrated a complete lack of scruple and no sense of limits in either taking power or using power. (The current “purge” — their word, not mine — of the Directorate of Operations at the CIA to rid it of those not personally loyal to GWB is just the latest example.)

If they keep playing football and we keep playing croquet, guess who’s going to keep winning?

Pelosi and Reid, and the rest of us, need to take a page from the Republican playbook of 1993-2000. No surrender, no compromise, no bipartisanship, no civility, no reaching out to Republican officeholders (as opposed to detachable Republican voters): nothing but scorched earth from here to victory.

No, it won’t be pretty. But continuing to be ruled by these thugs is worse.

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:

8 thoughts on “The DeLay two-step”

  1. Don't DeLay

    Mark AR Kleiman think Dems should rake the Republicans over the coals for rescinding their conference rule that anyone under indictment should resign from their leadership position.

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