Thursday, February 03, 2005

Endangered Species: Ethical Republican

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has an interesting article this morning about changes made yesterday to the House Ethics Committee. It seems that Dennis Hastert (R-IL) canned the chairman of the Committee, Joel Hefley (R-CO). He also purged Kenny Hulshof (R-MO) and Stephen LaTourette (R-OH). The three members, it turns out, were the Republicans on the committee who voted to admonish Tom Delay (R-TX) in the fall for unethical conduct. No doubt, the fact that each also voted against the Delay Rule, which would have allowed indicted House leadership to remain in their leadership positions, didn't help their cause with Mr. Hastert. The money quote from the Post-Dispatch article comes from Haster's spokesman, John Feehery:

"The speaker doesn't like to have people who are such talented legislators like [Hefley] have to spend so much time on ethics."

Yes. God forbid we should have talented legislators working on ethics issues in the House. I guess this explains why Hastert appointed Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Tom Cole (R-OK) to the committee. We can all rest easy now, knowing that these gentlemen will be doing their super, very best to hold Congress to tight moral and ethical standards.