Back scratch fever
Monday's stunning reversal by U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, and the Republicans in Congress on the so-called DeLay Rule caught all by surprise, including those of us in the midst of the effort to hold politicians accountable for these types of actions.
But it shouldn't have. There are three reasons why DeLay caved on the provision, which was enacted by the House Republican conference back in mid-November and was designed to protect him if he gets indicted for his role in the on-going investigation into corporate fund-raising in Texas politics: constituent anger; a measurable rebellion among House members that emboldened House Democrats; and the growing sense that DeLay is becoming politically radioactive.
I would disagree with one point of this assessment. The Chronicle suggests that it was the defection of some Republicans that emboldened Democrats. It is just as arguable that it was the potential for a united Democratic attack on the ethics of the House Republicans that emboldened the Republican defectors. Each side helped each other out in this fight.
Now that's bi-partisanship for you!