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Tilting at Windmills

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April 3, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

DELAY GIVES UP....Tom DeLay says he's leaving Congress:

"I'm going to announce tomorrow that I'm not running for reelection and that I'm going to leave Congress," DeLay, who turns 59 on Saturday, said during a 90-minute interview on Monday. "I'm very much at peace with it." He notified President Bush in the afternoon. DeLay and his wife, Christine, said they had been prepared to fight, but that he decided last Wednesday, after months of prayer and contemplation, to spare his suburban Houston district the mudfest to come. "This had become a referendum on me," he said. "So it's better for me to step aside and let it be a referendum on ideas, Republican values and what's important for this district."

That's it? We're supposed to believe that DeLay is dropping out because a mudfest just isn't his style?

Right. How long before the other shoe drops?

Kevin Drum 10:45 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (110)

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Comments

Well, whatever you think of the man, you have to admire the high minded concern for the dignity of the office this clearly shows.

Posted by: phleabo on April 3, 2006 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

We rule!

Posted by: The Media on April 3, 2006 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, on the one hand, this will reduce the Democrats' chances of taking Congress (because a non-crooked Republican will be harder to beat in this district). That said, I don't care: happy, happy, joy, joy, joy. Getting this scumbag out of politics and into a Scaife-funded think tank where he belongs is the first step on the road to recovery for the country. No one has done more to drag down the federal govt. than DeLay.

Now, shall we round up every word that wingnuts have written saying that DeLay has done nothing wrong and this is all a partisan smear campaign to drag down a good conservative Christian? Start with this Powerline post that links to a splendid column by wingnut David Klinghoffer:


Yes, I have a conflict of interest and such conflicts, arising from one's political or moral value system, can be more powerful than conflicts that arise from the scent of money. I wish Abramoff's tormentors would be similarly honest. Let them admit their own wish to see the political consequences of the Abramoff affair that they, simulating disinterest, now predict like, for example, the implosion of the Jewish-Christian alliance and the fall of Tom DeLay.

I can't wait to see more anti-Christian indictments coming our way.

Posted by: M.A. on April 3, 2006 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Unless he is about to be indicted for more stuff, this is a pretty smart and maybe even principled move. Democrats lose a target and Republicans apparently are certain to retain a seat. And I guess even if the "other shoe drops," it still is a smart move

Posted by: brian on April 3, 2006 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

Ding, Dong, Delay's nearly gone,

"Ask not for whom the bell tolls, know that it tolls for thee."

Wait until he finds out what its like to not have any power at all, after being such a corrupt weilder of power. Its very hard for long time criminals to go strait.

Now, perhaps the tide, in the winter of our discontent, has finally ebbed.

Posted by: Bubbles on April 3, 2006 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

Good.

Posted by: Zathras on April 3, 2006 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

He's leaving to spend more time with his cell-mates.

Gotta love it.

Posted by: Tom Ames on April 3, 2006 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

Behold Bugmandammerung.

Posted by: Windhorse on April 3, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

Unless he is about to be indicted for more stuff, this is a pretty smart and maybe even principled move.

Tom DeLay doesn't do principled. Tony Rudy's plea seems to have been the catalyst here.

Posted by: M.A. on April 3, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

Can anyone imagine: Delay in '08?

Posted by: anotherone on April 3, 2006 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

Over to you Scott....

Asked by reporters how strongly Bush was backing DeLay, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said, "Strongly as he ever has, which is strongly."

A picture is worth a thousand words...

Posted by: justmy2 on April 3, 2006 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

In his own words:

You can't prove to me one thing that I have done for my own personal gain," he added...

...he showed off a picture of his wife, Christine, and their daughter, Danielle, with President Ronald Reagan. "I had to withhold my vote," he said, "to get my daughter's picture with Ronald Reagan as a freshman."

Priceless.

Posted by: has407 on April 3, 2006 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

Tony, Tony, Tony, has done it again...and it feels good....

Posted by: justmy2 on April 3, 2006 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

I saw the news on C-SPAN's crawl. Had to go to the bot and make sure after finding nothing was on the cable news pap. My prediction is that if there is a federal indictment DeLay will not be able to go on the neo-con/evangelical talk circuit. This is important for the compensatory type of personality most politicians have, and if DeLay is unable to at least have bible thumpers give him a good cheer, he will suffer emotionally, because his bullying days are over.

Posted by: Hostile on April 3, 2006 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

OK, there's got to be something bad coming down the pike that he knows about. Otherwise there's no way he's quitting after he won the primary so handily.

Posted by: Jim S on April 3, 2006 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

Since DeLay wouldn't drop out voluntarily without being forced out, one has to wonder what the deal is. Is it really impending jail time? Or did Rove & Co. force him to? This sort of smells like Rove. We should remember that this is more than just DeLay. He was a leader, but he had the tacit approval of most--if not all--GOP congresspersons.

Posted by: gq on April 3, 2006 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

He needs to spend more time with his family because time is running out to spend with his family.

Posted by: Sideline on April 3, 2006 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK

This is a serious question. Do you folks consider Delay evil? Or is it just anger at him for the tactics he has used to advance his political agenda? And if it is that you consider him evil, is he evil in the sense you think he wants to hurt the country? And does your disdain for him even extend to what he has done with foster children? I'm not really arguing on Delay's behalf, but just trying to understand the exteme feelings against him.

Posted by: brian on April 3, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

I'm betting Frist is out of the Majority Leader's post within 3 months. He is a disaster.

Posted by: crow on April 3, 2006 at 11:18 PM | PERMALINK

Federal indictment. Has a lovely clang to it, yes?

Rudy ratted him out. Count on it.

Posted by: bling on April 3, 2006 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

Brilliant move on DeLay's part.

Now he will have free time to campaign for his Presidential campaign. That was his goal from the beginning anyway.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 3, 2006 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

The GOP is worried about the 2006 midterms. We're going to see all sorts of make-nice manuevers in the coming months.....

Posted by: swamp thing on April 3, 2006 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

Brian,
I consider Delay unprincipled and corrupt, but evil--maybe not. I think he actually believes in a certain political philosophy. The problem is that he is willing to go any lengths, no matter how unethical or illegal, to advance his cause. Then again, maybe he thinks laws don't apply to Republicans.
He seems to me to have been a very typical political power broker: not as smart as many, about as corrupt as some, much more hardass than others in memory.

Posted by: marky on April 3, 2006 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

I think he's probably the most corrupt member of the House currently in office. I consider the K Street Project the largest example of organized extortion to have ever existed in the United States. In other words I despise the tactics he's used to gain power at any cost, including his pride and joy, the Texas re-districting scheme. Does he want to hurt the country? Probably not. But does he blind himself in the name of his ideology to the harm that he has done in fact? Yep.

Posted by: Jim S on April 3, 2006 at 11:22 PM | PERMALINK

Oh god no.. please don't let Frist go! Not unless he also is indicted.

Posted by: marky on April 3, 2006 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

Brian what has delay done with foster children? Do you have any idea what he will be charged with. Do you think he will become a registered offender?

Posted by: Jay on April 3, 2006 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

I live in his district and I am so grateful that the Bug Man has decided to spare us of the horrors of a Congressional Campaign. I wasn't positive that I would survive the brutality of another set of commercials featuring his foster kid.

DeLay must be in serious trouble. It was only three weeks ago when he won the primary and made some very aggressive statements about the November election. I believe he even called the Dem candidate (Nick Lampson) the attack dog of Barbra Streisand and Nancy Pelosi. Lampson has steadily lead the local polls this year, and DeLay didn't show any sign of backing down. Something big happened recently, and I can't wait to find out... Actually, I don't care. Just get his office the f*@k out of my neighborhood.

Posted by: dfx on April 3, 2006 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not really arguing on Delay's behalf, but just trying to understand the exteme feelings against him.

If you have to ask for an explanation of the price of ethics, you can't afford them.

Wait! That sounded better in my head!

I'm betting Frist is out of the Majority Leader's post within 3 months. He is a disaster.

I reviewed a video of him today in my office, and I don't believe he was responding to intellectual stimuli.

Posted by: shortstop on April 3, 2006 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, the political values Delay stood for---the abolishment of over 100 years of social progress, worker protection, investor protection, social insurance---would be a horror if realized.

Posted by: marky on April 3, 2006 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

it's not the shoe dropping delay is worried about, it's the soap.

Posted by: danelectro on April 3, 2006 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

He is EVIL!
He is a Sadist, and a murderer. He killed nearly my whole family!

Posted by: The Bugs on April 3, 2006 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

Delay

Not evil, just a stupid, self righteous, arrogant prick who thought he was too cool to get caught. He knew damn well he was doing slimework, he just didn't care, 'cause his heart was with christ and to most republicans that's all you need for a free pass.

Now as his aides fall one by one, let us go skin Ronnie Earle alive! remember him anyone? remember his partisan witch hunt?

Forget Fitzmas, THIS is the real gold!

Hang this to the GOP, Delay, Bush, Abramoff, and that's that.

Posted by: The Media on April 3, 2006 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

I reviewed a video of him today in my office, and I don't believe he was responding to intellectual stimuli.

The pop almost came out of my mouth that was so funny.

Posted by: Windhorse on April 3, 2006 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

Heh, they shall know you're an upper Midwesterner by your word for the carbonated beverage, Wind. That immediately put up my "one of us, one of us" antennae.

Posted by: shortstop on April 3, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

"This is a serious question. Do you folks consider Delay evil?"

(1) Yes.

"Or is it just anger at him for the tactics he has used to advance his political agenda?"

That's two questions, and I'll answer both. His political agenda, broadly stated as corporate authoritarianism, goes against everything this country purportedly stands for, and it goes against everything any decent human being ought to stand for. The tactics can broadly be stated as power to truth, without regard for any broader principle.

So yes and yes.

"And if it is that you consider him evil, is he evil in the sense you think he wants to hurt the country?"

I consider what he wants to do -- to the extent that he has any conceptual or philosophical goal beyond being in power over something -- to be antithetical to everything this country ... well, see above. I don't think he wants to hurt the country. I don't think he gives a fuck about the country. He, like Karl Rove, knows he can get the attention of enough voters to win an election, and that's all he needs. The only reason he isn't trying it again is because he knows -- because of current polls, or because he knows something the rest of us don't, yet -- that he wouldn't win.

I don't think he has ever given "the country" (your lower case letters, not mine) a moment's thought. I think he has given the good of "the country" as wide a berth as anyone can give it. I think that is evil.

So yes.

"And does your disdain for him even extend to what he has done with foster children?"

This isn't a serious question: what in the navy blue fuck are you talking about, and why in the same navy blue fuck should I care? They say Ted Bundy had excellent manners. Is that the part of your question that WASN'T serious?


"I'm not really arguing on Delay's behalf"

We caught that, thanks

"but just trying to understand the exteme feelings against him."

Hope this helps.


Posted by: KPatrick on April 3, 2006 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and lest you're wondering, Assrocket at Powerline came through with a splendidly wingnutty response to the news:


DeLay was an effective leader, albeit too liberal in recent years. It's possible, of course, that he did something wrong along the way. But there is no evidence of that in the public domain... 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.

Powerline is truly the gold standard of wingnuttery.

Posted by: M.A. on April 3, 2006 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

No way that this is anything other than a signal that the real indictments are coming soon. I wouldn't at all say it's "principled"-more like strategery. if his indicted ass isn't front and center of the 2006 elections, then he has a better chance of still having some friends in high places afterwards.

and Brian:
"Do you folks consider Delay evil? Or is it just anger at him for the tactics he has used to advance his political agenda?"-

Well, he uses evil tactics, not to mention using them to advance evil ends, so I'd say yes to both questions, instead of the "or" that you pose.

"And if it is that you consider him evil, is he evil in the sense you think he wants to hurt the country?"

maybe more like he doesn't care if he hurts the country, while enriching himself and consolidating power. Or he wants to hurt people who he doesn't think should be part of the country, etc. does he think that he wants to hurt the ocuntry, probalby not, but that's bnot enough to redeem him.

"And does your disdain for him even extend to what he has done with foster children?"

Again, not enough to redeem him. I mean, Hitler was a vegetarian (NOT THAT I'M COMPARING HIM TO HITLER!!!! I"M NOT!!!.) the only bone I could even try to pick with that stuff, if it's on the up and up, is that it might help him sleep at night, something he doesn't deserve.

Posted by: URK on April 3, 2006 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

I should have added two things: (1) I really can't speak for "us folks." (2) Sorry for the language. But one of the people who is the most responsible for making the mess this country is in is about to pay for this crime -- a very refreshing thing when you think that, 7 or 8 years ago, we impeached a president for having an affair.

If you have to ask the question -- however genuine -- you either wouldn't, or don't want to, understand the answer.

Now go back to Instapundit where you belong.

Posted by: KPatrick on April 3, 2006 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

URK and I are not the same person, obviously, he's not as profane. Besides, his hyperbolic comparison was to Hitler, while mine was only to ted Bundy.

Posted by: KPatrick on April 3, 2006 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

Well, whatever you think of the man, you have to admire the high minded concern for the dignity of the office this clearly shows. Posted by: phleabo

Bullshit! Nail him to a cross. At the very least make him share pen with a member of al Qaeda at Gitmo, if there are actually any there.

Posted by: JeffII on April 3, 2006 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

whaddya mean I'm not as profane? You goldurn dagnabbit goldbricker!

and going to Hitler was just a lack of imagination on my part. I would have used bundy if I could have thought of it in time. Or maybe pointed out that Charlie manson wrote pop songs too.

so, if I were more clever and foulmouthed we'd be the same person?

Posted by: URK on April 3, 2006 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

brian -- In Delay's world, the ends justify the means. In Delay's world, victory is proof of rightness. In Delay's world, substantive compromise is a sign of weakness. Jimmy Hoffa would be proud of him.

Delay and his ilk have no place in a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. The damage he has wrought in the last few years is extremely serious. But more to the point, he could not have acted alone--others enabled and tolerated his abuse of power, and the damage that was caused--all in the pursuit of victory at any cost. For that the Repblican leadership must share the blame.

As for his work with foster children... going to church once a week does not excuse malevolent activity the rest of the time.

Posted by: has407 on April 3, 2006 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

Regarding foster children, this is from DeLay's House website:

The DeLays share a deep interest in the circumstances facing abused and neglected children. They got involved with children's issues after Christine DeLay, a teacher, began volunteering as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in foster care. Eventually, the DeLays became foster parents themselves. Today, they are outspoken advocates in favor of reforming the present foster care system by making the child's best interest the paramount concern.

Does Tom DeLay care about foster children? I bet that he does. But even so, he used his charity as a cover for racketeering and influence-peddling. The man is corrupt; it's that simple. He gladly skirts the law, if not breaks it outright, and he's done more to tarnish political discourse and bipartisan lawmaking than just about anyone. I've never once heard him say anything nice about a Democrat or anyone he disagrees with politically. He has no problem assassinating someone's character if it somehow gives him a leg up.

He's willing to do anything and say anything to gain and maintain power. He's been doing it for a long time, far longer than his recent national notoriety would indicate. He's an evil and corrupt man, and that's before one considers the utter soullessness and rapacity of the agenda he promotes.

Posted by: Kenneth Fair on April 3, 2006 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the mostly serious, respectful and helpful answers. I guess the consensus is that Delay is not evil or intentionally out to hurt the country, but ruthless in pursuit of power to advance a political agenda that you strongly feel is not in the best interest of the country -- some also feel that he does not care about the effect on the country.

I had thought he actually made some helpful efforts related to foster children, but I don't know any details and, of course, many politicians support causes for the PR value.

On the Texas redistricting, I don't know about the tactics, but I always thought he had a pretty good counter argument that if 60% of Texans voted Repblican, they should have 60% of the Congressional seats.

Posted by: brian on April 3, 2006 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

Brian what has delay done with foster children? Do you have any idea what he will be charged with. Do you think he will become a registered offender?

Posted by: Jay on April 3, 2006 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

Hilarious!!!

Again, not enough to redeem him. I mean, Hitler was a vegetarian (NOT THAT I'M COMPARING HIM TO HITLER!!!! I"M NOT!!!.)

funny, I had this exact same thought as I was scoffing at Brian's the pathetic attempt to garner sympathy for Delay.

It's almost as sad as the serial killer's lawyer who puts his dear old mother on the stand to testify how sweet and kind her baby was as a child and would never do anything to hurt a fly!


Posted by: D. on April 3, 2006 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

That's a shame.

Posted by: Mike B. on April 3, 2006 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

I should add that I don't come to the conclusion Tom DeLay is evil lightly. I think that most politicians, regardless of party or philosophy, are genuinely concerned with the public interest. That's not to say some aren't venal, and others are perhaps foolish, misguided, or hypocritical. But that doesn't make them evil.

DeLay is not misguided or foolish. He's acted deliberately to agrrandize his power at the expense of the country. He's one of the few politicians I would call evil, and I make that statement only with a full awareness of its gravity.

Posted by: Kenneth Fair on April 3, 2006 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

Actually I come to the conclusion that DeLay is evil without any deliberations. His previous statements indict him very well, especially his assertion that his indictment is somehow related to the supposed war in America against Christians.

Yeas, DeLay is very obviously an evil man. No need to think deeply about that.

Posted by: lib on April 4, 2006 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK
"I'm going to announce tomorrow that I'm not running for reelection and that I'm going to leave Congress," DeLay, who turns 59 on Saturday, said during a 90-minute interview on Monday.
I just love it when someone announces that they're going to be announcing something. I mean, didn't he just announce it? It's sort of like getting 'pre-engaged' or something... blargh!

As for the question of whether DeLay is evil or what, yeah, I'd say he's evil - anything as corrupt as he is can't help but be evil. He champions causes and litigation - not because they're what he thinks are important or are the best way of handling a situation - but because someone PAID him to do so.

But just because he's evil doesn't mean everything he DOES is evil. Just as a good person is able to commit evil acts, an evil person can commit some good acts. But that's just my opinion.

Posted by: kriselda jarnsaxa on April 4, 2006 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK
My prediction is that if there is a federal indictment DeLay will not be able to go on the neo-con/evangelical talk circuit.

Why on earth not? It just makes him more of a martyr in their eyes. He can have his speaking schedule fully booked from the time he leaves office until he goes to prison (if that ever happens) and then from the moment he gets out of prison.

Posted by: KCinDC on April 4, 2006 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

Evil. Pure and simple, from the 8th dimension.

Posted by: Buckaroo Banzai on April 4, 2006 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

I think anyone would have to admit that using one's foster-children foundation to launder illegal political contributions is pretty disgusting. Any good work the foundation does, and any sincerity DeLay may have towards the cause, is seriously undermined if not vitiated by something like that -- just as the actions of those Red Cross employees who improperly diverted Katrina funds are doubly reprehensible because they cast the organization's many good works under a shadow of disrepute.

Point is, a scumbag has been driven -- at least temporarily -- out of politics. But if he thinks this is gonna get him off the front pages, he's got another thing coming. Whenever the indictments fall, he'll be right back up there.

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 4, 2006 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

Do you folks consider Delay evil?

No more evil than any other corrupt, arrogant tool of corporate America working against every principle our country stands for. If it's possible to be more evil than that, he would certainly give it a shot.

Or is it just anger at him for the tactics he has used to advance his political agenda?

You mean his abuse of Homeland Security resources to advance his own polical agenda? The waste of taxpayer dollars in an effort to hurt his political opponents? Do YOU approve of his illegal use of government authority to entrench Republicans in power? I guess I don't understand the question. How much MORE evil could his tactics have been?

Posted by: Repack Rider on April 4, 2006 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

We're supposed to believe that DeLay is dropping out because a mudfest just isn't his style?

That's not something for us to believe, that's a straw for the kool aid drinkers to clutch at.

Posted by: ogmb on April 4, 2006 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

Evil. Pure and simple, from the 8th dimension.

If you do not dismantle your "K Street Project", our orbiting spacecraft will fire a particle beam to destroy the city of Omsk, in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics...

...what are you laughing at, monkey boy?

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 4, 2006 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

Republican Culture of Corruption.

You know, I keep hammering on that. Stay focussed.

Why? Because the Democrats (the party) are idiot suck ups, and they can't pull off a turnaround on their own merits. (maybe Feingold - but the rest are a complete waste of skin).

The only possible redemption there is for this nation is if we peer into the abyss of lawlessness and corruption we've teetered into, and give a good yank on our safety-line. (please God, let it be attached to something).


On the Texas redistricting, I don't know about the tactics, but I always thought he had a pretty good counter argument that if 60% of Texans voted Repblican, they should have 60% of the Congressional seats.
Posted by: brian on April 3, 2006 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

That's only a good argument if Texas has one district.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on April 4, 2006 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

"so, if I were more clever and foulmouthed we'd be the same person?"

Add "loaded like a freight train" and, if nothing else, you'd have a nice hat trick of personality traits.

Posted by: KPatrick on April 4, 2006 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

..what are you laughing at, monkey boy?
Posted by: brooksfoe on April 4, 2006 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

Nothing, John Brooksfoe.

Posted by: Buckaroo Banzai on April 4, 2006 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK

"I guess the consensus is that Delay is not evil or intentionally out to hurt the country, but ruthless in pursuit of power to advance a political agenda that you strongly feel is not in the best interest of the country -- some also feel that he does not care about the effect on the country."

To paraphrase a former President of whom you may not be fond, it depends on your definition of "but."

Posted by: KPatrick on April 4, 2006 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

For Time's coverage of the Delay announcement as well as the original Galveston County Daily News piece, see:
"The Delay/Abramoff Scandal Resource Center."

Posted by: AvengingAngel on April 4, 2006 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

That's only a good argument if Texas has one district.

Uh, actually osama, if Texas had one district, 100% of its delegates would likely be Republican. It'd need at least 5 to have 60%, and the more districts, the more likely it is that the partisan percentage of delegates will follow the partisan percentage of voters.

Just doin' the math there. No biggie.

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 4, 2006 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK


Buy Cheap WoW Gold

Posted by: wowgold on April 4, 2006 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

http://www.offthekuff.com/mt/archives/007099.html

Pop quiz, boys and girls: In what way will that special election differ from the November election, which will take place with a different Republican nominee regradless of the outcome of that special election? That's right - it takes a majority vote to win a special election for an unexpired term of Congress. With Steve Stockman and a Libertarian Party candidate on the November ballot, it was not at all farfetched for Nick Lampson to win the seat with a plurality of the vote. That won't cut it in a special - there will be a runoff if no one gets a majority. My guess is that DeLay thinks it'll be harder for Lampson to get a majority as a challenger than a simple plurality. Plus, he now has to win two elections.

Posted by: j on April 4, 2006 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder if he's going to cut a deal with the prosecutor?

And if so - who would the prosecutor possibly want above DeLay? (and looking at the hierarchy, only Satan comes to mind).

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on April 4, 2006 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

I guess the consensus is that Delay is not evil or intentionally out to hurt the country,

No, that's not the consensus. The consensus is that he is evil. Whether he is "intentionally out to hurt the country" is kind of a weird metric -- there is no one in American political life whom it would fit, and probably a grand total of a few hundred people in the whole country whom it would fit. But he does hurt the country; and like most selfish, dishonest and violent people, he constructs a fictional narrative of his own actions and a fictional version of the country and its interests, to justify his destructive behavior to himself and to others.

We might compare him to, say, BRobert Mugabe. No doubt these characters intended to make their countries stronger, and, in their warped imaginations, believed themselves to be doing so.

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 4, 2006 at 12:30 AM | PERMALINK

Delay will get a pardon. If they can drag it out until past 2008, it will happen before he goes to trial.

Posted by: has407 on April 4, 2006 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

I guess the consensus is that Delay is not evil or intentionally out to hurt the country, but ruthless in pursuit of power to advance a political agenda that you strongly feel is not in the best interest of the country -- some also feel that he does not care about the effect on the country.

What consensus is that? You got a mouse in your pocket?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 4, 2006 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

So all the liberals who said, five or ten years ago, that DeLay was an evil creep, were right? Or is it that if they hadn't been so, just so awfully negative and against him, and mean and petty and cruel about him, he never would have been an evil creep at all?

A Republican is but an innocent babe jostled awake in our small circumstances.

Posted by: cld on April 4, 2006 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

Aorry, should have said "before he gets convicted" in the previous post. However, it will be interesting to see if the defense tries to delay, or tries to get it over as quickly as possible.

Posted by: has407 on April 4, 2006 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

If DeLay really were a mafia don, he'd plead guilty and get sentenced quick, in the interests of the Family. I mean the Party.

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 4, 2006 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

Delay will get a pardon.
Posted by: has407 on April 4, 2006 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

You're wrong.

Because what all of you don't know yet, is that DeLay is innocent of the fraud and money laundering charges. Charges for which Bush would enthusiastically pardon him.

Unfortunately, DeLay is guilty of a much more serious crime. One that is unpardonable, and unforgivable. When it comes out in the press, the nature of these new charges, all the honest, clean, Americans out there will be screaming for blood. The real charge is that he got a blowjob from his intern.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on April 4, 2006 at 12:43 AM | PERMALINK

The real charge is that he got a blowjob from his intern.

A guy.

Posted by: cld on April 4, 2006 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

Delay was a Red 'Lectroid

Posted by: John Small Berries on April 4, 2006 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK
brian 11:15 PM... trying to understand the exteme feelings against him.
Ethics is a concept unknown and incomprehensible to Republicans.
going to church once a week does not excuse malevolent activity the rest of the time. has407 11:45 PM
Christians conservatives: One day a week, they pray, the other six they prey.
8th dimension. Buckaroo Banzai 12:05 AM
Laugh whila you can, Monkeyboy. He will have to turn in his Hong Kong Cavalier badge, John Smallberries. Posted by: Mike on April 4, 2006 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

Somebody pinch me...I must be dreaming...Are we really on the verge of cleaning up congress, "Without DeLay?"

Posted by: Global Citizen on April 4, 2006 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

I seem to recall reading somewhere that when DeLay started the Texas Redistricting bruhaha a few years ago, he actually made his own (safe) district a little bluer. So a rethug replacement isn't a given!

Posted by: Global Citizen on April 4, 2006 at 2:00 AM | PERMALINK

M.A. wrote: "No one has done more to drag down the federal govt. than DeLay." Could be, but I think Rove and Ashcroft are contenders too. Not to mention Bush himself: If tax cuts during wartime and record deficits; if detaining citizens and non-citizens for arbitrarily long periods without access to counsel; if fostering a military culture that encourages torture unto death aren't "dragging down the federal govt." then what is?

brian wrote: "I always thought he had a pretty good counter argument that if 60% of Texans voted Repblican, they should have 60% of the Congressional seats." That may be, but the American way is to campaign for each Congressional district, and redistrict again based on the 2010 census before the 2012 election, not to redistrict halfway between censuses and not to take illegal corporate contributions to finance the redistricting scheme, etc.

Hostile wrote: "My prediction is that if there is a federal indictment DeLay will not be able to go on the neo-con/evangelical talk circuit." That hasn't stopped Oliver North or G. Gordon Liddy. In fact, even the ultra-disgraced Richard Nixon got published subsequently on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal.

brian wrote wondering if we think that Tom Delay "wants to hurt the country." This is related to the improper syllogism:

  • Oedipus wanted to marry Jocasta.
  • Jocasta was Oedipus' mother.
  • Therefore, Oedipus wanted to marry his mother.
In this case we have the following improper syllogism:
  • Tom DeLay wanted to (a) require lobbying firms to hire only Republicans; (b) redistrict Texas halfway between censuses; (c) take illegal corporate campaign contributions; (d-z) etc.
  • Items a-z hurt the country.
  • Therefore, Tom DeLay wanted to hurt the country.
The first syllogism is invalid because Oedipus did not know that Jocasta was his mother. The second syllogism is invalid because Tom DeLay does not know that items a-z hurt the country.

And why is that? Because the so-called morality shared by strict-father conservatives elevates the promotion of strict-father morality as the highest moral virtue, trumping everything else. In short, to answer brian's question, it is conservative "morality" itself that hurts the country.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on April 4, 2006 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

Yep, but WHO will he squeal on when the shit hits the fan?

THAT...is the question.

He is no friend of Rove et.al.

Posted by: satan on April 4, 2006 at 2:18 AM | PERMALINK

I have a fantasy brewing re: Dana Rohrbacher's crack about "Let the prisoners bring in the harvests!"

I might actually buy a head of iceberg lettuce if I thought DeLay, Scanlon, Abramoff, or any of these other smarmy bastards might be toiling in the hot sun to bring a salad to my table.

Posted by: Global Citizen on April 4, 2006 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

Joel R: on your Oedipus comparison, Oedipus actually came to recognize the truth of the situation, took the blame on himself, and decided on his own punishment to fit the crime. No hope of any of that here.

My take is that, Yes, the guilt already leads right to his door, but there is a deal here. This man is too power-hungry and egotistical to walk away. Unfortunately the deal might include the Dems, too.

Why not? The Dems can't follow through on clear law-breaking to do with FISA, lobbyists/corruption or election finance. All the waters are muddy. It can't be coincidence that the Dems won't get a grip on any of these!

Posted by: notthere on April 4, 2006 at 3:18 AM | PERMALINK

I hope he is equally at peace, sharing a cell with a 6'5" homosexual, nicknamed "The Ram"!

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on April 4, 2006 at 5:51 AM | PERMALINK

Why is Tom DeLay like California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger?

They will both be ex-Terminators in 2006.

Posted by: pj_in_jesusland on April 4, 2006 at 6:22 AM | PERMALINK

What a wimp--a Texas yellow belly!

Posted by: BroD on April 4, 2006 at 7:00 AM | PERMALINK

So, in the battle of DeLay vs. Rove, Rove comes out on top. Who is the next challenger?

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on April 4, 2006 at 7:57 AM | PERMALINK

The Delay play shows us all how greasy politics is.

One's character rarely changes over time.

I had an Uncle who met with Richard Nixon in 1948. After his meeting he said..."Richard will need to be watched closely, I have some concerns about his character"....

24 years later, the whole world realized how mean-spirited and shallow the man was.

Delay is no different.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on April 4, 2006 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

Tom Delay is relocating his residence to Virginia. The fouled air of Houston is already getting better.

Posted by: Keith G on April 4, 2006 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

But Jesus loves him, this I know, for the Bible tells me so; if he hollers let him go, eeny meeny miny moe.

Posted by: Wonderin on April 4, 2006 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

DeLay cuts and runs.

Good thing he isn't running the war on terror.

Too bad Bush is.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 4, 2006 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

You libs just hate Tom DeLay because he's effective! He's a great American, and you aren't!

Posted by: Trolletarian on April 4, 2006 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

What Brooksfoe said at 12:30.

Posted by: Ace Franze on April 4, 2006 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

DeLay was an effective leader, albeit too liberal in recent years. It's possible, of course, that he did something wrong along the way. But there is no evidence of that in the public domain... 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.

Powerline is truly the gold standard of wingnuttery. Posted by: M.A. on April 3, 2006 at 11:33 PM


Gah! I think nearly every one of his aids have plead guilty. So the only way Delay could not be a part of this who racket is if he was completely incompetent and had no idea what his closest aids and advisors were doing.

Is that what Powerline is trying to argue? That he's a complete fool and incompetent?

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on April 4, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

At the end of a crap, you flush the shit.

That's what's happening here.

Posted by: POed Lib on April 4, 2006 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

"Argue"? We argue nothing! We make our own reality!

Posted by: Powerline on April 4, 2006 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

One down thousands to go...but what I'd most like to see changed is the law that allows him (and others) to convert their campaign funds to their defense funds...what's wrong with that picture...so someone who donates to the campaign of someone running for office must do so with the knowledge that if they are indicted their hard earned money will be used to defend the (potential) crook???? That should cut down on the donations.

BTW...this issue with McKinney just proves what most true liberal Dems understand...ALL the corrupt and idiotic members of Congress are NOT Republicans...just so many more of them seem to be!

Posted by: Dancer on April 4, 2006 at 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

And why is that? Because the so-called morality shared by strict-father conservatives elevates the promotion of strict-father morality as the highest moral virtue, trumping everything else. In short, to answer brian's question, it is conservative "morality" itself that hurts the country.
Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on April 4, 2006 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

Bullshit psycho-babble.

He knows damn-well that a-z will hurt America. But he rationalizes it; that there's a "higher morality". Which is just his way of letting himself sleep at night while people drown in New Orleans, because they "get what they deserve". And it pisses off liberals. Usually, when someone is dishonest to everyone else, the person they lie to the most is their self.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on April 4, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Delay has consistently put Party ahead of Country to the detriment of the latter.

Posted by: Wombat on April 4, 2006 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Dancer, not only that, but your donation can go to defend some other crook:

DeLay snagged $5,000 donations from the campaign accounts of Reps. Kenny Marchant (Texas), Spencer Bachus (Ala.) and Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.). Rep. Jim Gerlachs (Pa.) re-election committee chipped in $2,000, while Reps. Steve King (Iowa) and Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) each gave $1,000.
Voters in those districts need to be reminded repeatedly that those reps used their campaign funds for DeLay.

Posted by: KCinDC on April 4, 2006 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

I find this interesting and didn't realize the rule...(from tpm muckraker)

Because he has already won the Republican primary, he can't simply drop out or the Republicans will have no candidate. So he has to be disqualified. "To be disqualified he must die, be convicted of a felony or move out of the state." Although DeLay may very well be convicted of a felony before November, his apparent plan is to pull up stakes and move to Virginia.

Posted by: ckelly on April 4, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Bullshit psycho-babble. He knows damn-well that a-z will hurt America. But he rationalizes it; that there's a "higher morality".

osama, you refuted yourself quite thoroughly.

Posted by: obscure on April 4, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

At the end of a crap, you flush the shit.
That's what's happening here.
Posted by: POed Lib

Well said.

Posted by: Ringo on April 4, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Newt the second.

Posted by: Right minded on April 4, 2006 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with Dancer above too. It is outrageous that campaign contributions can be shifted to legal defense funds. Everything unspent for campaigning should be returned to the donors. Not shifted to crooks.

Posted by: ckelly on April 4, 2006 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

There is more to DeLay resigning than his being a heavy weight around the GOP's neck nationally. Will he still be eligible for his Congressional pension if he is convicted of a felony while a sitting member?

Posted by: Chief on April 4, 2006 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Only an act of Congress can revoke his Congressional pension, as I understand it.

Posted by: cld on April 4, 2006 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

There is more to DeLay resigning than his being a heavy weight around the GOP's neck nationally. Will he still be eligible for his Congressional pension if he is convicted of a felony while a sitting member?

As a Federal Retirement expert, I can tell you that if Delay is convicted of a felony and expelled from Congress, he would lose his pension. If he were to quit now, rather than decline to run, he would also lose his pension, and his rights to continue the excellent Federal Employee's Health Benefits program. Therefore, he has to decline to run, this allows him to remain in office until January 2007, and this makes his eligible for a discontinued service retirement of approximately 36 percent of his congressional salary, plus benefits.

Since, he cannot (in good conscience) allow the repubs to be without a candidate for the election, he has decided to decamp from Texas to Alexandria, Va., which allows him to be disqualified and another candidate may replace him.

Posted by: DCNative on April 4, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Sadly, no:

"Though U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham must forfeit more than $1.8 million in ill-gotten gains, experts say he will get to hold onto his Congressional pension earned during eight terms in office.

Mike Orenstein, a spokesman for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, said Tuesday that federal law allows pension benefits to be stripped only if a federal employee, or congressional legislator, commits a "crime against the United States," such as treason."

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2005/11/30/news/top_stories/20_57_3111_29_05.txt

Posted by: solar on April 4, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Solar, you are right: A federal pension can only be stripped if the individual commits a "crime against the United Staes," such as treason, refusing to testify in a national security case, etc.

My response was a little too basic. There are two types of federal annuities-- immediate and deferred. There are also two different retirement systems. Delay, having first been elected to Congress in 1985, is eligible for an immediate annuity, no matter what happens. He can quit and be eligible for a MRA+10 annuity, payable immediately, or he can get a discontinued service retirement if he stays in office until January 2007, when the congressional session ends. The MRA+10 annuity may be subject to an age reduction (I'm not sure I'll have to check.)

Havings worked in retirement at the Office of Personnel Management for some years, I have never seen a case where an individual forfeited his annuity because he was convicted of treason, or one of the other offenses that allows forfeiture of the Federal annuity.

And, I don't think anyone is accusing Delay of treason.

Posted by: DCNative on April 4, 2006 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Hanssens' wife, in a bizarre sort of deal, was given the survivor's portion of his pension. Bloch lost his pension. Ames forfeited his, too (in exchange for a life sentence). I'm sure there are others.

Posted by: solar on April 4, 2006 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop: kudos for that video comment. Frist is such a turkey. He had no feel at all for talking down to the republican base. When he tries, he really sounds foolish.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on April 4, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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