Mar 212005

Dave Klepinger of summed it all up nicely today, so I’ll quote the relevant bits here.

“Back in December, for example, we saw the House weaken ethics rules in order to ensure Tom DeLay could keep his post if indicted as a result of an investigation back in his home state (a change repealed under political pressure). DeLay is under investigation in Texas for campaign finance violations, and has thrice violated House ethics rules. The lesson learned here is that it doesn’t matter how unethical your actions, your majority will just change the rules to make them ethical.

That’s where I really started losing my respect. But this week saw a cascade of events which just sickened me. First, the House issued subpoenas to a number of baseball players to come testify about steroids in baseball. You see, it appears the House has nothing better to do than talk about baseball. Prisoner abuse in Guantanamo? Not important. The CIA kidnapping people in other nations and transporting them to nations which allow torture for interrogation? Trivial. No, there is apparantly no issue more deserving of a Congressional investigation than whether or not professional athletes are using drugs for performance enhancement. If that sounds right to you, well then you’d be the first.

And so now we get to tonight, and this bill passed to give Terri’s parents a shot at the federal courts. First off, I should mention that part of the bill is not unconstitutional. Congress does have the power to set federal court jurisdiction. Whatever else is wrong with it (and there’s plenty), it is not unconstitutional for that reason. What makes it unconstitutional is that the bill itself states that it is for the relief of Terri Schiavo’s parents. What this means is that Congress* has passed a bill which interferes with the states’ ability to determine who is to make decisions for persons unable to make them. Florida state law determined that in Terri’s case, that person was her husband. Congress is essentially saying ‘We don’t care what Florida or Terri’s husband thinks, Terri’s parents should have more of a say.’

The same Republicans who constantly complained about Clinton’s ethical failings move to protect their own by changing what’s ethical. The same Republicans who crow about “states’ rights” and the “sanctity of marriage” are simultaneously trampling both. And through it all, the House just wants to know whether or not Jose Canseco is telling the truth about sticking Mark McGwire’s bum with a syringe. Congress is in a shambles, and getting worse every day.”

 Posted by at 3:07 pm

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