House Not Inclined to Roll Over, Play Dead
January 13, 2010

My Washington decoder ring isn't the most finely tuned. But I think it's good enough to translate the message House leadership was trying to send yesterday: Don't take us for granted. The message came most loudly, and most clearly, from Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel.

House Cleaning
September 12, 2009

How quickly they forget. The 2006 midterm election that gave Democrats both chambers of Congress wasn't entirely a vote of confidence in the party's leadership or policy acumen. It was a vote against the Republican Party. In the run-up to the election, Democrats hammered on the failures of the Iraq war and the incompetency of the Bush administration, but one narrative stuck best: corruption. At the time, Republicans were reeling from a raft of scandals--there was Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham, and naughty instant-messager Mark Foley.

Learning from Newt
January 24, 2005

Early last year, a Democratic representative named Chris Bell decided it was time someone really went after Tom DeLay. Like many of his Democratic colleagues, Bell had come to believe that DeLay, a fellow Texan, was not just a tyrannical House majority leader, but that his pursuit of power had led him to trample House ethics rules.