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April 06, 2005


Tom DeLay is not going to resign. If indicted he will continue to serve until convicted. These leaks have what purpose? Not protecting the party from DeLay's bad image.

DeLay has been distancing himself from the White House for at least a year. He was not happy with the Medicare Bill, the Highway Bill, SS Reform(at least in timing). He has expressed this dissatisfaction publicly. He has an agenda different from, and in some ways detrimental to, the agenda of the White House. The budget is in crisis, with essential pork in competition with other essential pork.

If you ask me, the Terry Schiavo affair was in part House Republicans showing the White House some of their resources and willingness to put them in play. If not an intra-party war, we are at least in a shoving match.

Hooray, a good reason for Republicans to rid themselves of DeLay.

I'll swipe Atrios' line...pass the effing popcorn.

Tom DeLay has an answer: “I challenge anyone to live on my salary.”

Really? I'll take him up on that challenge. He can transfer it to my bank account month by month for as long as he likes.

Sebastian: Hooray, a good reason for Republicans to rid themselves of DeLay.

That his dirty laundry has become so public? His misconduct, as I recall, has been known for some time - but the Republicans (by which I mean the senior party leaders, not rank-and-filers like you, Sebastian) show no signs of wanting to rid themselves of DeLay. Aren't the Republican party's rules being changed so that DeLay can continue to be the leader of the House (sorry if I'm not using the correct term) even if he's convicted of misconduct?

No criticism of you intended, or of any other low-level ordinary members who have no power to rid yourselves of Tom DeLay - but your party appears to be rallying round in support, even whipping up juicy human-interest stories such as Terri Schiavo (again, no offense to Terri Schiavo, but I doubt if Tom Delay was in any way motivated by humanitarian considerations when he mixed in) to drive Tom Delay's misconduct off the front pages.

I'm not a Republican, but out of the goodness of my heart, I will, with all sincerity, offer those of you who are some advice. DeLay is a great man. Don't let a bunch of liberals slime him with a host of unproven allegations. DeLay would make a fine, no, a great, candidate for president in 2008.

I may have had some issues with the GOP in the past, but a DeLay candidacy for president, that is exactly what it would take to unite all America behind one politician.

I have your best interests at heart, as I know that you are thinking only of mine when you offer unsolicited political advice to the left. DeLay in '08. Think about it - for our country's sake.

Or at least keep him around until the midterm elections. Please?

Purely on the merits, the Russian story doesn't exactly fill me with outrage. I realize that the House has rules of conduct and everyone agrees to them when sworn in and that if the allegations are true, Delay knowingly violated them, but I don't think the practice of semi-arbitrarily defining who is and who is not allowed to grease the palms of Congress and by what mechanism they can be greased is a particularly righteous or even defensible one.

And paying his own family members $60K each for 4 years is very shoddy, but it seems an issue for his contributors, who should be wondering how their money is spent, and I don't think it's illegal or particularly atypical.

All of which is to say, it doesn't smell any worse than straw to me, but if it can add enough to the load to break Delay's back, that's fine with me.

No, no felix. There's a trick to handing out unasked for political advice to the opposition party. You can't sound friendly or entreating. . that makes them suspicious. You have to sound haughty and belligerent, as if anyone with half a brain could see the wisdom of your advice (which is obviously asking too much), and you're just throwing a bone out of pity.

Like this,

"If the Republicans could pull their heads out of their pants long enough to pay attention to the real world, they might notice that running DeLay for President in '08 could actually lead to political relevance. . but I'm not holding out any hope"

Though it pains me to agree with felixrayman for the second time in two weeks, I agree. DeLay would be an excellent candidate for president. He should definitely run as a Democrat. Democrats obviously need a fiery Southern speaker to run if they ever have a chance to beat the Republicans. DeLay would be perfect. No one would ever mistake him for a policy wonk, and it would be impossible to portray him as an out-of-touch hyper-intellectual. What are you guys waiting for?

This is awesome. If you all would just pull your heads out of your pants long enough to pay attention to the real world, you would have to agree with the cold, hard facts in this op-ed:

The left has come up with a target, and his name is Tom DeLay. He isn’t their first and won’t be their last, but for now he’s the Republican they hope to take down.

They’ve tried in the past to do the same thing to others. Vice President Cheney, Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld and White House adviser Karl Rove have all been portrayed as ethically challenged and sleazy by the same folks who are now going after the House Republican leader from Texas. Trumped-up charges of illegality, paid ads and reports from ethics groups that are little more than fronts for partisan and ideological assaults on their opponents are all part of the now familiar pattern.

Anyone can see the truth in that bit of wisdom. Why are so many Republicans ready to give in to attacks from the left? DeLay must stay.

DeLay may have his own agenda and be determined to stick around, but it's obvious that this current influx of info is coming from his own Party and the folks who need him to be gone now, so there's more than a year between him and the midterms.

I'd like to think that there are also (1) some folks who've been strongarmed in the past who are piling on, just for payback (and fun!) and/or (2) some principled Republicans who have just realized how corrupt he is (talk about head-in-the-sand) -- but the reality is just political expediency.

And it's kind of sad, in a way, to see all the Dems who've been calling for his head for years suddenly saying, "Whoa! Wait! Don't get rid of him now! We need him!"

All of this advise is wonderful; I offer my sincere thanks.

Back to reality for a second: at one time in my life I wished that you Democrats would continue voting in folks like Teddy Kennedy and those whose mental health is borderline, such as Dennis Kucinich. After a year or two of espousing that belief, I realized that what we want is strong opponents, not weak. What we want is that which makes it necessary for us to be better, not that which allows us to (as a party, here) to get by with minimal effort. Because we're talking about politicians, here. Politicians, given the least amount of slack, turn into criminals. So now I wish for no slack. No slack for us means no slack for you, and perhaps a better government for everyone.

That's the hope, anyway. Guess I'm an idealist.

I don't think they were serious, Opus.

Tom Delay is not an individual. He is a machine. One of the big cogs in the machine designed to crush government.

It's the machine that needs to be driven off the cliff.
Whether Delay is driving it or not is of no matter to me.

Look at it this way. Monica Lewinsky, in Tom Delay's eyes, pleasured the entire Democratic Party. Lucky us, but I digress. We all were required, by Delay, to pay the piper, so to speak.

So, yeah, supersize that popcorn!

"I always gave them "big picture, long-term strategic guidance" for free."

Some jokes really do write themselves...


"I challenge anyone to live on my salary." Reportedly, when he said that, his salary was $158,000 a year.

Not to defend Mr. DeLay in particular, but for a mid-range Congressman, that is, not a one-termer but not high in the ranks of power, I could actually understand that statement. Assume a one-earner family. Pay your taxes. Save towards the future. Maintain a principle residence for your family near Houston and have a small but comfortable and safe place to live in Washington. Given the hours a Representative is expected to keep, pay someone to clean your apartment, do your laundry, prepare your meals. Pay for the necessary travel back and forth, unless you expect to abandon your family much of the year every year. Pay for local transportation in both places -- in Washington public transit might make sense, but certainly not in the area around Houston. Pay all the normal expenses of the family back home. I could see it being a challenge.


I don't think members of Congress buy their own plane tckets back and forth to their home districts. And of course the salary and duties are public knowledge. Can't live on $158K? Don't run. Stick to the exterminating business.

Do Mr. and Mrs. DeLay have a joint account?

Slarti -- I agree with you about strong opponents. I have been longing for the reemergence of a conservative party for years. (Seriously.) If I were a real partisan, I would hope DeLay sticks around. But I can't.

Sidereal: it doesn't bother you that DeLay was accepting all expenses paid trips from a Russian firm with connections to the Russian Defense establishment? What would bother you, exactly?

I have been longing for the reemergence of a conservative party for years.

Sadly, me too. I went by the wayside with the GOP during the Moral Majority years; those who are crying theocracy now were either too young then or weren't paying attention.

And OT, I'm about to purchase your book. I hadn't realized that you had written one, and the subject matter looks to be interesting. To tell the truth, who other bloggers are in real life isn't nearly as interesting as what they have to say, but in this case there's an intersection of the two.

"Sidereal: it doesn't bother you that DeLay was accepting all expenses paid trips from a Russian firm with connections to the Russian Defense establishment? What would bother you, exactly?"

If his wife breast fed on the plane.
Whoops, mixing threads.

It does bother me. But it also bothers me when politicians are flown around by the US defense industry. Or by tobacco companies or by Big Cotton(tm). All of which happens daily, if not hourly. I just find it slightly weird that everybody's breathlessly obsessing over behavior that I'm fairly sure is daily fare for Congressmen and women. It's as if the agreement by everyone involved that this is a serious scandal is more important than the actual contents. Maybe I'm just incredibly cynical and this really is unique behavior.

Addendum: I believe my last point is reinforced by the fact that the blogosphere coverage and conversation is more about the sausage making ('Delay is being thrown to the wolves', 'the knives are out', 'It's finally sticking on Delay') than the sausage.

Micheal Cain- Something missing from your list is: the cost of living in the style which Congressmen are expected to.

Sidereal- Agree about how this isn't really about what he has done. Sure the ones actually sticking the knife in do the same kinds of thing. Whoever the Republican's chose for DeLay's job will need to have an extremely close relationship with K street in order to further the Republican agenda of making sure all K street lobyists are loyal Republicans.

The Republicans don't want the real stories coming out, that would damage their own long term interests, and since they are the ones who get the newspaper stories published, we aren't likely to hear anything that is really that serious.

Slarti: "I'm about to purchase your book." -- A man of courage, and rare discernment. Be warned: my Dad, who does not do philosophy but is quite smart, gave up after chapter 2 (which is, admittedly, the hardest), and said: the odd thing is, I couldn't understand it, but I could tell that it was very clearly written.

Recall that I've tempered myself with Buckminster Fuller. If you can even get through the first quarter of an inch of Synergetics, well, kudos.

My only attempt to read Fuller involved poetry. By chance I flipped to a version of the Lord's Prayer, which (if memory serves) began:

Our father
Who art in heaven
Who art in He-Even

And at that point I just gagged and stopped.

I'll have to excerpt from Synergetics one day. I'm wondering if it still carries the capacity to boggle, excised from context. Oh, and about Phantom Tollbooth, there's a wee bit of art posted here. I can scan my copy, though. Hey, I'm all about service.

If you want more detail on Tom DeLay's network of questionable activities, the place to go is the Texas Observer and especially the work of Lou Dubose.

It seems likely that the K Street project and Grover Norquist will be caught up in the scandal, too, thanks to suits filed by Jack Abramoff's disgruntled Native American clients.

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