Thursday, April 21, 2005

Doc Hastings Tries

To his credit Hastings is not just sitting on his hands in light of the allegations against DeLay. But as long as he plays within the DeLay-protection rules it will only be for show. Doc has an opportunity to put the teeth back into the House Ethics Committee and make it genuinely effective against wrong-doers in both parties. But will he act? We will just have to stay tuned. If he doesn't, he shows himself to be the pantomiming lapdog I've always expected him to be. If he does, my respect for him will certainly go up a few notches. Perhaps his choice depends on how vulnerable he feels in the next election. If he acts to bring an investigation of DeLay he will steal away one of the most effective weapons a Democratic challenger could use against him. Furthermore, he will gain a grudging respect for being a real player from most everyone in his district. His Democratic predecessor, Sid Magnuson, had similar respect from his political antagonists and was able to stay in office as long as he desired it.

Update: At least Doc has opened the investigation. Yet to be seen is the degree to which it can be pursued given the "protect-DeLay" rules that are in place.

1 comment:

S.W. Anderson said...

Don't forget Hastings has to live with the others in his caucus. He also has to work under Speaker Dennis Haster, who, like DeLay, is all about anything to win. (Recall the Medicare so-called reform bill shenanigans.)

Look for Hastings to try to say and do enough to give himself some cover during the next campaign. Beyond that, well . . .