All tied up

The House Ethics Committee won't be investigating any of the new allegations surfaced in the nation's newspapers this regarding Tom DeLay and other members any time soon...

Mike Allen of the Washington Post continues his good coverage with a story this morning describing the stalemate at the House Ethics Committee. Ranking Democratic Rep. Alan Mollohan of West Virginia is leading a mini-protest of sorts -- the Democrats on the Ethics Committee are refusing to ratify to the congressional rules adopted back in January. Some of those rules made it highly unlikely that the Ethics Committee would investigate anything at all, so it's not necessarily a bad idea to tie up the Ethics Committee to make the point.

The question is, who will be blamed? If this goes on for a while and the Republicans don't agree to rewrite the committee rules for Ethics, we've got essentially the status quo -- no investigations. But it's possible that the Democrats risk sharing the blame that could be squarely placed at the feet of the GOP. Now, if Hastert, DeLay and others cave and agree to a more open ethics process, then it's worth it. We'll keep watching this, though my hunch is that it will move a glacier speed. Until it doesn't.