June 16, 2004
Bell makes it official

Rep. Chris Bell has officially filed his ethics complaint against Tom DeLay. Hold on to your hats, it could get bumpy from here.

Talk of retaliation is already in the air.

A DeLay ally, Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-Calif.), said Republicans "are going to have to respond in kind" by filing ethics charges against key Democrats. From now on, he said in an interview, it's a matter of "you kill my dog, I'll kill your cat." Doolittle said he plans to file ethics charges against a prominent Democrat but would not name the target.

Cooler heads may yet prevail, though it's still too early to say.

Bell called Doolittle's comments "incredibly irresponsible."

Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Fla., said he would urge his colleagues to avoid retaliation.

"I would hope Republicans resist the temptation to do tit-for-tat," he said.

Bell also said that he expects DeLay to retaliate.

"I expect the full wrath of Mr. DeLay's attack machine," he said. "Sadly, I've heard reports that he and his cronies are already talking of retaliation."

Some more background can be found in these two articles, courteously located by Greg.

Obviously, it's too early to tell how this will play out. I think DeLay may finally be in some trouble, but I freely admit that I'm influenced by what I want to happen. In any event, the entertainment potential here is pretty high. DeLay has already made a major contribution:

"Evidently he is very bitter about losing his primary and is using the ethics committee to express his bitterness," DeLay said of Bell. "I have never liked the politics of personal destruction."

Bwah hah hah! Even the Chron couldn't keep a straight face at that:

DeLay called for President Clinton to resign after his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Thanks, Tom. I needed a good laugh.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 16, 2004 to Scandalized! | TrackBack

It's things like this that reminds of how Johnny Carson used to start his monolouge during the Iran-Contra hearings with "We thank you, Lord, for the jokes we are about to receive." :-)

Posted by: William Hughes on June 16, 2004 10:19 AM

Chris Bell fears retaliation? Kind of hard to be retaliated against when you're a lame duck.

Posted by: Chris on June 16, 2004 12:10 PM

Might not do any good to retaliate aginst Chris Bell but there are members of his party that could be targeted.

I'm nominally a Republican and I swear, Tom Delay makes my skin crawl.

Posted by: Patrick on June 16, 2004 2:11 PM

"Republicans 'are going to have to respond in kind' by filing ethics charges against key Democrats. From now on, he said in an interview, it's a matter of "you kill my dog, I'll kill your cat."

Lovely. Thanks for showing us just how mature Congress is, Congressman Doolittle.

I'd be willing to bet that Bell has lost a fair amount of sleep over this decision and must feel he has a really solid case. It takes some kind of courage to challenge DeLay.

Posted by: Sue on June 16, 2004 7:02 PM