LETTERS: GOP move is appalling

To the editor:
House Republicans have done something truly appalling. They’ve knocked down an ethics rule that banned House members from holding leadership positions if they’ve been indicted on felony charges.
   They did it on behalf of House majority leader Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas). A number of his associates have already been indicted by a Texas grand jury and he’s expected to take a similar hit in the near future.
   I strongly urge you to editorialize against this move. What’s astonishing about it is that the Republicans just repealed a provision that they put in place back in 1993 when they said they were cleaning up Congress.
   This is no mere act of hypocrisy, though. Nor is it just a Beltway issue that’s only relevant in Washington. This is a national moral lapse that cuts to the heart of our government. It’s an utter outrage, and you need to stand up for the public good and shine a spotlight on it.
   Tom DeLay has already been rebuked four times by the House Ethics Committee for various violations. It makes people like me — who play by the rules and pay the taxes that provide for Tom DeLay’s salary — even more cynical about politics and American democracy. Just imagine how great Republicans like Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt would react. It’s a disgrace.
   Please devote some of your coverage to addressing this dirty move. Have the vision to editorialize against it and play the role of the public watchdog. We, the people, are ultimately the caretakers of our democracy. When politicians fail to govern with dignity, we must stand up, speak out and hold them accountable.
Irene Heims