January 5, 2006
I have to side with the folks at NRO (holy cow! write this date down!) that Leader DeLay is damaged from the Ronnie Earle imbroglio and will soon be ensnared in the Abramoff contretemps. Whether there is a yet undiscovered kerfuffle, who knows?
I should be serious because this is sad. Rep DeLay, as NRO points out, has done a good job for the GOP. He gets the administration agenda through the house (JohnGalt pointed out that we needed "The Hammer") and he drives Silence crazy; he must be a good guy.
I think he is blameless in the Earle indictment and likely pretty clean, legally, with Abramoff. But we are facing an election year and he will be viewed as damaged goods by the media and moderates.
I don't think it was fair that Senator Lott was forced to step down but he did it for the good of the party. DeLay must now do the same.
We hope Delay clears his name, and it is notable that he wasn't explicitly referred to in the plea agreement. The winds frequently shift in Washington and it might be that a year or two from now — leadership elections are held every two years — a clearly innocent DeLay will be poised for a comeback. It will certainly help earn the goodwill of his colleagues if he realizes the wisdom of remaining, for now, a backbencher.
Another point -- a tipping point -- is DeLay's assertion that years of GOP rule have trimmed all the pork out of the budget. I'll wait for you to get up off the floor now and clean up a bit.
Were he just the victim of un-provable charges, he should stay. But in fact he is emblematic of the shift toward incumbency that we've seen in the GOP house between the 104th and 109th Congress. Thanks, Mr. Leader. Bye.