David Brooks slaps his own party around in today’s New York Times.
I don't know what's more pathetic, Jack Abramoff's sleaze or Republican paralysis in the face of it. Abramoff walks out of a D.C. courthouse in his pseudo-Hasidic homburg, and all that leading Republicans can do is promise to return his money and remind everyone that some Democrats are involved in the scandal, too.
That's a great G.O.P. talking point: some Democrats are so sleazy, they get involved with the likes of us.
If Republicans want to emerge from this affair with their self-respect or electoral prospects intact, they need to get in front of it with a comprehensive reform offensive...
Brooks goes on to list some very good reform ideas, some of which are stolen from the Democrats. They include dumping Tom DeLay and holding new leadership elections for the Party, and actually enforcing House rules that they have ignored by allowing members to slip spending provisions into bills at the last minute:
There's bound to be corruption when members are forced to vote on sprawling bills nobody has a chance to inspect. Instead, all legislation should be posted online for 72 hours before the vote, so the staff and bloggers can nitpick and expose.
He also says that they should fire Congressman Bob Ney as chairman of the House Administration Committee immediately.
For God's sake, Republicans, show a little moral revulsion. Back in the dim recesses of my mind, I remember a party that thought of itself as a reform, or even a revolutionary movement. That party used to be known as the Republican Party. I wonder if it still exists.
Answer: No, it does not, if it ever did.
I certainly hope that the GOP leadership will ignore Brooks’ advice and dismiss this column outright.