A letter to the editor in another newspaper - I forgot which of the many I read every day - said something like this:
"Although I was a big supporter of John Kerry, after reading all the letters and listening to all the comments from the right, I'm glad the Bushies won. They're such poor winners, heaven help us if Bush had lost."
No kidding. It hasn't been a picnic being on the receiving end of e-mails from distant parts of the country that are akin to those "nyah, nyah, nyah" taunts the kids hurl at each other on the school playground.
It's remarkable what is happening in Washington right now. One might think these new-breed Republicans had scored a huge landslide victory on Nov. 2 instead of actually squeaking by with a 3 percent margin that may still wind up being even closer once all the votes are counted. And that was with the power of the incumbency behind them, plus a war that historically works in favor of whoever happens to be president.
While the rule-changing being made by the GOP leadership in the House and Senate has raised eyebrows over the way the Democrats are being marginalized, nothing compares to the blatant in-your-face rewrite of the House's ethics rules to protect its majority leader, Tom DeLay of Texas.
The irony is that the rule to require any House member in a leadership position to step down should he or she be indicted was implemented by none other than the House Republicans in the first place. It was aimed at the Democrats who had just fallen out of power after the Newt Gingrich revolution, and the new GOP majority wanted to send the Dems a message that their ethics were lacking. (Remember Tip O'Neill, James Wright and Tom Foley, all Democratic speakers who wound up fending off various charges of impropriety?)
Now, however, Tom DeLay is likely to be indicted for his role in campaign chicanery in Texas, some of the allegations serious enough that he could face felony charges.
What's good for the Democrats is obviously not good for the Republicans. So a few days after the election they went back to Washington and changed the rules so that the "Hammer," DeLay, who wields enormous power over this membership, won't be affected. Even Gingrich was appalled.
What everyone seems to forget in politics is that old adage that what goes around comes around. Sometimes, when arrogance raises its ugly head, it comes around a lot faster than one might think.
© 2004 Capital Times