Turns out this breaks the RPC interop testing.
To see this most easily, edit share/test/interop/bin/test_rpc_interop.sh to just test python against python:
-clients=("$java_client" "$py_client" "$ruby_client")
-servers=("$java_server" "$py_server" "$ruby_server")
(cd lang/py; ant)
This should print RPC INTEROP TESTS PASS and does if you revert this patch but not with this patch.
I'd like to get 1.7.0 out soon, so if someone doesn't provide a fix for this I'll revert this and we can get it into 1.7.1.