Texas Republicans move to oust Ken Paxton, their own long-indicted, scandal-plagued state Attorney General

An engraving of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton could illustrate an encyclopedia entry about everything wrong with American politics. He's been indicted for eight years on charges of securities fraud, using his elected office to keep prosecutors at bay. He's notoriously corrupt, even as he affects a pose of religiosity and propriety. He's a conspiracy theorist and a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. He's so repulsive even his own party is now trying to impeach him.

The House convened in the afternoon to debate whether to impeach and suspend Paxton from office over allegations of bribery, abuse of public trust and that he is unfit for office — just some of the accusations that have trailed Texas' top lawyer for most of his three terms. …

In opening statements, Rep. Charlie Geren, a member of the committee that investigated Paxton, said the attorney general had called lawmakers and threatened them with political "consequences." As the charges against Paxton were read, some lawmakers shook their heads. Impeachment is expected to be debated for four hours, followed by closing remarks and the vote.

Paxton has been under FBI investigation for years over accusations that he used his office to help a donor and was separately indicted on securities fraud charges in 2015, though he has yet to stand trial. Until this week his fellow Republicans have taken a muted stance on the allegations.

Remarkable that something might be done about Paxton despite the extreme partisanship and in-group obedience of the GOP. Now that they've started, though, if they can't get rid of him, it signals that there's really no restraint or moderation on political corruption. If the courts can't put him inside and his own party can't push him outside, what's left?