A Tale of Two Speakers
In Washington, Nancy Pelosi took over as the first female Speaker of the House and pushed through her promised ethics reform package. Despite the many hosannas being sung, it isn't perfect and still contains some loopholes. It's a good start from a practical standpoint, though, and from a political standpoint, it helps link "Democrats" and "reform" (and by extension, "Republicans" and "corruption") in the public consciousness. The MSM will be watching the new Congress closely, alert for the slightest hint of hypocrisy. When ethical problems erupt, Democrats must act swiftly and decisively. If William Jefferson is indicted, he needs to be expelled from the House so fast it makes his refrigerator spin. If it had been up to me, he wouldn't even be in the Caucus now.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Tom Craddick clings desperately to power, learning that it is not always better to be feared than loved. He's not the worst Speaker of the Texas House (my vote would be either Gib Lewis or Gus Mustcher), but he is the best current symbol of the worst in Lone Star politics--vicious, unethical, power-mad. I can easily see him, as one blog poster noted, destroying the Republican Party in trying to save himself. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
UPDATE: This is exactly the kind of thing that Congressional Democrats need to be avoiding, not lamely spinning.