Thursday, April 28, 2005

Hastert and his evil Republican cronies finally relented and changed the House ethics rules to their pre-Tom Delay state. It only took four months and what the New York Times called "a pointed debate in which lawmakers traded blame for the ethics impasse" before Congress decided that cheaters never prosper... or at least that there should be massive amounts of document shredding and hard drive erasing before cheaters prosper.

Mom would look at the House proceedings and mutter, "I don't see what the big deal is, why they're even having this debate. Just tighten the ethics rules already." For her, it's a no-brainer. She said pretty much the same thing a few years back when Congress was deciding how much money lobbyists could bribe senators with before it became unseemly. The eminently forgettable senator from the populist state of Wisconsin proudly told Congress that in his state, "a representative couldn't even get a cup of coffee from a lobbyist." Poor disenfranchised cheese lobby. Then Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson — and there's a plantation-owning name if I ever heard one — from where else but the baroque state of Texas got up and told her colleagues that she liked it if she gave a speech for an organization and they thanked her with a bouquet of flowers.

That struck me as not really relevant, and I was hoping that some brash Congressman would respond, "Well, I like it when an attractive female lobbyist gives me a blowjob, but I don't really see how that helps my constituents." Of course, no one said that.

Back to my point, while Mom doesn't see why it's so hard to pass legislation holding our leaders accountable for their ethical lapses, I do. These folks in Congress, they're all friends. They probably go to the gym together, they double date at the Kennedy Center. They each tell their parents that they're gonna be studying at the other congressman's house so they can stay out all night drinking and committing petty vandalism and not passing universal health insurance. I'm sure that after the 402–20 vote essentially designed to force the Ethics Committee to look into Tom DeLay, it had to be awkward passing by him in the hallways or using the urinal next to him in the Congressional bathroom.