Many of Tom DeLays’ troubles are of his own making

Tuesday, April 04, 2006
I am normally in completely agreement with the bloggers at Power Line. However, this morning’s post by John Hinderaker is not quite accurate:
“As far as we can tell at the moment, DeLay appears to be yet another victim of the Democrats' politics of personal destruction--the only politics they know.”

I live only a few minutes away from Tom DeLay’s Texas office. He would be my congressman if only my family lived one mile further south. The man has indeed been unfairly victimized by a hostile media. Travis County's district attorney Ronnie Earle is an utter disgrace. There is no doubt that a Republican prosecutor could not get away with filing flimsy charges against a leading Democratic politician. Nevertheless, DeLay’s relationship with convicted criminal Jack Abramoff is more than enough to severely damage his reputation. Although I don’t even for a moment believe that DeLay broke the law---he unwittingly assisted the disgraced lobbyist in corrupting our political culture. It happened on the Texas congressman’s watch. This fact is beyond dispute.

Tom DeLay’s resignation will increase the likelihood of the Republicans holding onto the district. He will also no longer be a distraction during the 2006 election season. Republican candidates throughout the country can rest easier. This is a sad end to one of the most effective political careers in our nation’s history. It should remind those remaining in office to not be so trusting of wheeling and dealing lobbyists.


Rick Ballard said...

Nice post, DT. DeLay has made the correct decision - as did Gingrich and Livingston. Those who live in large glass houses need to resist the temptation to hurl pebbles at others and DeLay was rather famous for his throwing arm.

His resignation is also a good reminder that there are no irreplaceable men. None. And that fact is more true in politics than in practically any other field.

The DoJ seems to be doing a rather thorough job in the Abramoff matter. Let us hope that they are just as thorough in their investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the disclosure of the existence of a top secret NSA surveilllance program. As that investigation wends its way into the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence perhaps Rockefeller and Durbin will take heed of DeLay's action and do the honorable thing.

And perhaps the sun will rise tomorrow at the same point on the horizon at which it will set this evening.

Fresh Air said...

The Republicans have always done a better job keeping their house clean than the Democrats. This is the key reason why the Ahabs on the left side of the aisle will never regain power by uncovering a scandal--no matter how many Abu Ghraibs, Al Qa Qas, "domestic" spying programs or FEMA "meltdowns" they supposedly uncover.

Watergate's effect lasted at most four years. Iran-Contra was nothing. Whitewater was nothing. But Newt's majority is still standing, a bit wobbly, but now over a decade old.

brylun said...

Prof. Larry Sabato's take:

"My guess is that Tom DeLay took a cold, hard-headed look at the facts of the upcoming election, and he realized that ex-Rep. Nick Lampson (D) was likely to win. That’s my own evaluation of the polls in his district, added together with DeLay’s sub-par performance in his party primary, and the burden of ex-Republican Rep. Steve Stockman running as an Independent. DeLay didn’t want to go out as a loser, and he didn’t want the Democrats to gain his seat. Probably, a respectable GOP candidate can hold that seat now — -though we’ll have to wait and see who is selected. The person had best have few ties to DeLay.

On the whole, this is a plus for the GOP. DeLay would have been the focus of a thousand media stories in the fall general election, making the Democrats’ ‘culture of corruption’ point for them. Now he’s out of the autumn headlines, unless the Ronnie Earle trial drags on or DeLay is indicted in the Abramoff scandal. It was in DeLay’s personal interests for him to drop out, but he also did his party one last favor."

Fresh Air said...

Interesting commentary from Sabato, but given the cloudiness of his crystal ball in the last election, if he said DeLay was going to lose. he probably would have won.

The more I think about his matter, the better I feel. DeLay's legal "troubles" are a joke. It's his ethical lapses that were the issue. Who will the Mediacrats use for their whipping boy now?

David Thomson said...

I disagree with Larry Sabato on a few points. Tom DeLay would have likely retained his seat. The odds were still slightly against Democrat Nick Lampson. I also suspect that Steve Stockman would have dropped out of the race if he truly endangered the Republican Party. The Ronnie Earle trial is nothing more than partisan gamesmanship. DeLay may have even received a large number of sympathy votes because of this nonsense. And I doubt very seriously the congressman will be indicted regarding the Abramoff fiasco. Still, Sabato is right to assert that “On the whole, this is a plus for the GOP. DeLay would have been the focus of a thousand media stories in the fall general election, making the Democrats’ ‘culture of corruption’ point for them.”

Rick Ballard said...

Sabato is the quintessential Dem shill in cap and gown. A swallow sighting in Guatemala is enough for him to break into "It's Springtime for Democrats". His 'on the one hand' schtick is a bit old.

It doesn't matter who the Dems designate as the next target although they might wish to speak to Senate Minority Leadler Daschle about the long term benefit of that type of focus.

I haven't seen any evidence of a Rep target for this cycle as yet. I can come up with about five possibles (in the Senate) but I wouldn't want to disturb their sleep. Yet.

Fresh Air said...


Regarding "irreplaceable men," is there anyone in among the 535 Congresscritters who could be a candidate for the $20 bill? Right now, the only "great man" I can think of in this country (governors included) is sitting in the White House.

No, I'm not thinking of Karl Rove.

terrye said...

It sounds to me like DeLay fell own his sword. It is just as well.

Rick Ballard said...


I am positive that there are some who could rise to the challenge. I'm also positive that their names would be met with blank stares followed by "Who the hell is that?".

Most of the lack of character that we see exhibited on a daily basis is linked to enormous egos completely overshadowing extraordinarily modest accomplishments. The camera hogs and press darlings don't account for more than 20% of the legislators now sitting and it is the jackass media who are unable to distinguish style from substance. As always, ad nauseum infinitum".