As CNN is reporting, House Republicans are trying to protect Representative Tom DeLay (R. TX):
> The House Republican Conference, composed of all GOP members in the chamber, planned to vote Wednesday to modify a requirement that would force DeLay to step aside if charged with a felony requiring at least a two-year prison term.
> Party rules require leaders to relinquish their posts after a felony indictment, but the change would eliminate the requirement for non-federal indictments.
It appears that the Republican Party has given up any pretense of ethics within its leadership. This is truly sad as it casts a very poor light on other, reputable members of the GOP and chips away at the faith and trust we, as citizens of this great democracy, have placed in our elected representatives.
The changes to the rule were proposed by Representative Henry Bonilla, a fellow Texas Republican, who, oddly enough benefited from the Texas redistricting efforts railroaded by DeLay. Surprised? No, I didn’t think so.
Now, if DeLay isn’t indicted, then I see no reason for him to have to step down, but if he is brought up on charges, he should step down until the case is resolved. But, as he probably has an insane amount of pull, this is unlikely without a sizable public outcry, the odds of which, I expect are pretty low. The populace is rather weary after a grueling election cycle. Sigh.
Ultimately I find it depressing to think of the fact that one of our two major parties has decided to change the ethical requirements that they set because one of their leaders can’t meet the rules. In most organizations, this would indicate that the ‘leader’ should step, or be forced aside to allow more capable/ethical members to step up and lead.