Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

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Ahhh, a wonderful DeLay Rule moment from yesteryear. Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA) said, yes, he voted for the DeLay Rule.

But he did it for National Security.

If the Hammer goes to the Slammer, I guess, the terrorists will have won ...

Join us while we game out how Tom DeLay plans to use the state legislature to take revenge on Travis County DA Ronnie Earle.

We're trying to keep up with every latest development on the DeLay story over at TPMmuckraker.com. So if you see some breaking news or some portion of an article with a detail no one has picked up on, stop by TPMmuckraker and send us a tip on the Muckraker tipline.

I know Mike Allen, the author of today's Time interview/article with DeLay. So I'm sure this was no more than an error made under tight deadline pressure. But, still, it's important to set the record straight.

Mike writes ...

DeLay was forced to vacate his post as majority leader because of a House Republican rule (known as "the DeLay rule," because it was enacted amid concern about his legal situation) that requires a leader under indictment to step down.

This stands what happened on its head.

The "DeLay Rule" was the new caucus rule House Republicans passed in November 2004 to allow DeLay to remain Majority Leader even after he was indicted. In other words, the existing rule mandated that any member of the leadership had to step down if indicted. DeLay was the first guy who the rule was actually going to hit. So he had the caucus change the rule for him.

Eventually, they were forced to overturn their own rule change because of an overwhelming public backlash against their cravenness and lack of principle.

Can DeLay change his residency from Texas to Virginia while he's currently out on bond and set to stand trial in Texas? Apparently so.

Here's how Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-NJ) defended defending DeLay back in November 2004. It's the letter he sent to constituents to explain why he voted for the DeLay Rule to allow DeLay to remain in power even after being indicted.

I'm curious what he says about it now.

Interesting. Already seeing lots of Republicans putting out the talking point that DeLay's departure ends or sharply diminishes the salience of the corruption issue in this year's midterm -- and plenty in the media are picking it up and running with it.

Now how exactly, the resignation and probable indictment of the architect of the DC GOP political machine helps the GOP is an open question. But as we've been saying, they can't shed him so quickly. Over at TPMmuckraker.com, we're going to be posting links to which members of the House GOP caucus voted for the DeLay Rule. We're also going to be posting constituent letters various members of Congress wrote supporting the DeLay Rule and seeing whether they still stick by what they said.

Just to refresh everyone's memory. What was the DeLay Rule?

Sensing he was soon to be indicted by a District Attorney in Texas, DeLay got the House Republican Caucus to change its bylaws to allow him to stay in office even after he'd been indicted. Most of them happily complied. We'll get you that list.

Relatedly, there's the purge of the Ethics Committee and the change in the ethics rules (both to protect DeLay). Where does your Republican member of Congress stand on those questions now?

Don't know? Why not give them a call?

Did they support the purge of the ethics committee in January 2005?

Did they vote for the DeLay Rule in November 2004? Need more details on the whats and whys of the DeLay Rule? Here's an article from The Hill's Jonathan Kaplan published the morning before the vote. He gives the basic run-down. Here's the list of TPM posts on the topic. So you can see what happened after that.

We've got a list of what they told their constituents then. What are they saying now?

Join in. You can play from home.