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September 28, 2005

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Heh. Terry Moran just asked Scotty about the 'stench of corruption' surrounding R leadership.

Doesn't really matter what Scotty's answer was.

Drier?

Any chance of some GOP bloodletting over this?

He's a temp figure picked by Hastert. The bloodletting will need to wait until DeLay is clearly gone. Anyone want to take him on in absentia? I don't think so.

I was wondering if they passed over Blunt because he's got his own set of ethical problems just waiting to explode in his face. So they skip Blunt and pick a barely closeted gay man? Have they really avoided problems with this?

emptywheel, I don't honestly know. i'd think all R leadership is suspect right now (Moran was right, see first comment). Plus putting a Young Turk in the Old Turk's seat never flies with the Old Guard.

Tancredo would take him on, not that we'd prefer that, necessarily.

And Drier's a good choice. You need a Rules person now, more than ever. The floor can easily fall into chaos under these circumstances.

Er, Dreier.

Ah, process. good point. Comes up now and again.

Meanwhile Fristie made up to $6 million off his not-so-blind trust.

Basically he just got caught pumping and dumping his family business.

Clemons thinks that DeLay is out of the leadership for good, and he's fairly convincing. Don't know how permanent Dreier is, but doesn't it make sense for Hastert - formally DeLay's figurehead - to actually assert control and (attempt to!) limit the damage to the GOP?

Oh, and by the way.........OH, HAPPY DAY!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!' Hammer to the slammer? Could we be so fortunate?

Now I have to figure out whether my chosen target for anti-GOP electoral focus this coming cycle - David Dreier, whose district doesn't quite border mine, but is only a mile away - will be helped by his new job, or hurt. He's a velvet-talking kind of guy, the opposite, on the outside, of Mr. Delay, which has always helped camouflage his despiscable voting record.

Culture of Corruption, Culture of Corruption, Culture of Corruption. Pound it in, like the tides of Katrina....

Synchronize watches. It is now 1993 ... or is it 1973?

And as I remarked prematurely one Tuesday morning last Novemeber: "It's a good day to be a Democrat!"

NPR reported earlier, in Q and A with Brooks and Shields I think, that Blunt was replacing DeLay. Don't know if it's a fact, or the interviewer was just assuming this.

Quickie analysis for those keeping score at home:

Dreier is the Republicans best informed and most capable Top Gun on the House Rules. He's chairman of the Rules Committee, and is without a doubt the Republican the GOP should trust most with command of the floor in an emergency.

The official role of the Majority Leader is setting and controlling the House floor schedule, and it's not a job you should step into lightly. You either have to have an iron-fisted grip on your party membership OR an unquestioned mastery of the rules, if not both.

Blunt's got a long way to go to demonstrate either.

That Republicans would opt for a DeLay henchman rather than a rules wizard reveals a certain sloppiness and a disregard for the potential consequences of losing control of the floor.

Remember, it's the Rules Committee that really runs the House -- that is, every bill that comes to the floor has strict voting procedures attached to it that are set by the rules that Dreier's committee custom tailors for each piece of business. What amendments are in order, what rules apply to debate, how much time there'll be, and who will control it. That said, there's not much tolerance in the GOP Conference for letting a maverick keep the Rules Committee chair, but pissing off (or in this case, pissing on) the top dog is never a good idea.

Now we'll have to see to what lengths the Rules Chairman, having been publicly slapped in the face by his own Conference and its new leader, will go to do his party's bidding on the House floor.

And while we all have a pretty good idea of what their motivation for walking away from the best person for the job may be, the fact that they did it without hesitation tells us something more.

It means either that there's an opportunity coming for us to find a gap in their attention span and use it to throw the floor into chaos, OR that DeLay fully intends to control the action from behind the curtains.

I think we all know which option The Hammer has in mind.

Now it's officially Blunt. I wonder if that was what hastert wanted.

Will the judge automatically let DeLay make cellphone calls to the floor of the House from behind the defendant's table? Or does that cost extra?

Don't know about the cellphone calls, MB. But DeLay's not vacating his office.

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