September 28, 2005

Another Con Bites the Dust

In early May of last year, as the revelation that Jack Abramoff would be serving some jailtime jostled Tom DeLay from his special-legislative-session vigil for the Schiavo woman, I wrote this in the Free Press

"I expect to see it any day now. Tom DeLay is going to invoke morality and values in another one of his ego-driven, sanctimonious press conferences, and then it’s going to happen. He’s just asking to get smote. A bolt of lightning is going to shoot out of sky and reduce the man to a pile of ash, expediting his soul’s descent into hell, or at the very least, branding the phrase “unethical hypocrite” across his forehead"

Well, close enough. Tom DeLay has been indicted. He was already losing in the polls, but now that he has been forced to step down as Majority Leader, his defeat is pretty much clinched. DeLay was also a powerful fundraiser for the GOP, and an outspoken and prominent member, so his corrupt image will undoubtedly reflect on the party as a whole. While DeLay claims he's done nothing unlawful, everyone on the hill except for his own staff knows its going to be tough to dodge a conviction. DeLay claims not to have even violated a rule of the House when, at the very least, he's already violated custom. We all remember the ethics committee finagling that helped DeLay resist resigning his seat a few months back. While the prospect of DeLay serving jailtime is uncertain, his political career has been dealt a fatal blow.


  1. Anonymous5:05 PM

    Do you really think the people in his district won't vote to send him back?

  2. Anonymous6:43 PM

    I think Tom DeLay is headed the way of Trent Lott. DeLay has been one of the loudest voices on the Repubs' side of the aisle in the House, but now he has done something extremely unpopular, and if there is any life left in his political career, it will be spent in the shadows of the House, rather than the spotlight. I imagine that, if he avoids jail time, the GOP will find some way of retaining his services while distancing themselves from his flaws (publicly, not substantively, of course).

    I think that the notion that "it's going to be tough to dodge a conviction" is premature. He's a Congressman, and he has a better shot than anyone at making this sort of thing go away. On the other hand, the indictment probably wouldn't have issued if there was nothing there.

    Just remember that Buddy Cianci was almost re-elected mayor of Providence while he was in the middle of a trial on charges that eventually sent him to jail.

    People probably counted Bill Clinton out when he was impeached over the Lewinsky mess, and now he's something of a rock star who made millions from his book.

    I imagine that people counted also Ted Kennedy out after he killed a woman, but 30 years later his shameless fat ass is as much in the spotlight now as anyone.

    The Republicans can afford to throw Tom DeLay under the bus. He netted the GOP 6 additional seats from Texas with his redistricting plan (according to today), so DeLay going down sets the score at GOP 6, Dems 1.

  3. Its true, being a congressman helps, and maybe he can dodge the law. But reelection is out of the question I think. In May (at about the same time I wrote that article) 21% of his constituents wanted him to resign from his Majority leader role, and 36% wanted him to resign from Congress. Overall 51% disapproved of DeLay.
    DeLay is done.

  4. Anonymous1:32 AM

    If he goes down in flames, we'll all be better off.

    His conduct during the Schiavo debacle was an embarrassment to the rest of the GOP (at least to those who were embarrassed by it... not enough were), and a lot of his "stands" on things have drowned out the voices of more reasonable members of his party.

    I hope it happens. I suspect that it will, but it wouldn't surprise me too much if the situation got a lot more complicated over the next few months and his accusers weren't able to make enough of it stick. I think if that happens, DeLay's goose is cooked because he has to seek reelection every 2 years, which isn't enough time for something like that to blow over.

    If he was in the Senate, he'd have a shot at beating this.

    Good thing he's not in the Senate.