Given the implications of the Democrats’ push for nationalized health care, the Deal resignation is serious. In a situation when every vote counts, it means the Democrats have to count one less vote.
If health care passes by one vote in the House, Nathan Deal owns the vote.
But there is something else the AJC article hints at.
The House Ethics Committee just found Charlie Rangel to be in breach of House ethics rules. Rarely does the House do something like this without also finding a Republican in breach. Deal has a pending and serious ethics investigation going on in the House over his contracts with the state government.
His resignation from Congress means the ethics investigation goes away. Why would he resign with health care on the line unless he suspects the House is going to smack him as the Republican to go down with Charlie Rangel?
He could, in fact, stick around, vote no on health care, then resign after that vote, which will be up in several weeks. But he is instead giving up the game now — or in a couple of weeks. That makes it suspicious.