Congress Checkmate for the Speaker?

Rubbergate claims its first victims and threatens scores more in November. Even Tom Foley may have to pay.

When Joseph Early faced his colleagues in the House of Representatives last week, he was feeling anything but contrite. Although the Massachusetts Democrat had been named as one of the biggest abusers of the now defunct House bank, having issued 140 bad checks, he wasn't interested in apologizing. Early chose to blame the boss instead. Tom Foley's handling of the issue, he claimed, was nothing short of a "disgrace." Growled Early: "Mr. Speaker, face the issue!"

No other lawmakers were willing to echo Early's intemperate remarks -- at least not publicly. But there is little doubt that many Democratic Congressmen blame...