IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

The lesson to be learned from the GOP's ethics fiasco

Donald Trump didn't force a reversal on the GOP's ethics plans; the American public did.
Budget Battle
Storm clouds hang over Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, as the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate stand at an...
By yesterday afternoon, much of the media establishment seemed eager to credit Donald Trump for House Republicans reversing course on their plan to gut their own ethics rules. In reality, however, that's far too generous to the president-elect.For one thing, Trump didn't actually denounce the GOP plan itself. For another, as the Washington Post reported overnight, Republicans were already facing a fierce backlash before the president-elect started tweeting.

The 19 hours of tumult was set in motion the night before behind closed doors at the Longworth House Office Building, where Republican lawmakers decided over the objections of Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) to amend House rules to effectively gut the independent Office of Congressional Ethics.They awoke Tuesday to an intense public outcry. Social media lit up with criticism of representatives trying to rein in the ethics office created a decade ago in the aftermath of scandals. Angry constituents inundated their representatives' offices with calls of protest. Journalists peppered lawmakers with questions. The halls of the Capitol felt chaotic.