January 4, 2005 [LINK]

GOP ethics reprieve

Thanks to a critical mass of courageous consciences in the Republican ranks on Capitol Hill, a proposed weakening of ethics rules -- aimed primarily at protecting Majority Leader Tom DeLay in case he is indicted -- was abandoned. Rep. Joel Hefley (R-Colo.), chairman of the House ethics committee, had denounced the proposed changes, putting his position and perhaps his career on the line. See Washington Post. Not that it's going to win any converts from the Democratic side, of course, but this stand for principle will earn the party credit among the more attentive voters and political observers. Three cheers! When you consider that the criminal charges being filed against DeLay in Texas are almost certainly politically motivated to some extent, the rule changes were understandable, if not justifiable. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Electoral college

In Monday's Post there was an ad on the Federal Page by the Committee to ReDefeat the President. They are challenging the Electoral College results on the grounds of (they say) fraudulent manipulation in Nevada, Florida, Ohio, and New Mexico. I got a kick out of the mail-in coupon for those wishing to donate: you either check "YES! I will help..." or "NO! You people need to get over it because God wants George W. Bush to be the president even if he got fewer votes than his opponent again." HO, HO, HO! I can't quite figure out, however, if that is how they really think most Bush voters think, or if they are just being sarcastic. I sure hope it's the latter... They will be among the lead organizers of the "CounterInaugural Ball" on January 20. (By the way, their Web site quotes "Audous Huxley" [sic]; it should be "Aldous Huxley." He, of course, was the author of Brave New World, where everyone was contentedly tranquilized by an all-powerful government, without any emotional ties to family members, or any moral compunctions about sexuality. In other words, a Democratic vision of utopia.)