Another One Bites The Dust

In a move curious for its relative lack of surprise, the Republican Party took Tom DeLay out to a lonely spot beyond K Street today, and put him out of our misery.

Finally recognizing his position in the House of Representatives had “become a referendum on [him],” the man known at one-time as the Hammer, likely the person most responsible for maintaining the Republican congressional juggernaut of the last dozen years, quietly stepped aside. In a taped message broadcast on FOX News, Mr. DeLay vowed to remain “engage[d] in the important cultural and political battles of our day.”

Party leaders (with the conspicuous absence of House Speaker Dennis Hastert) offered platitudes and huzzahs to their fallen former leader, calling him an inspiration for their agenda and a representative of their “values,” but it seems clear Republicans are pinning any hope for their retaining control of the House of Representatives in the Fall elections on distancing themselves from Mr. DeLay, and what California Representative Nancy Pelosi called the “culture of corruption” he fostered in Washington.

Of course, it’s silly to believe any culture of corruption in the halls of power — at any level of government — belongs to one man or to one party. And while he may soon pine for the lush trappings of elected life, Mr. DeLay’s divestiture of his legislative perogative is not likely to produce many changes to his fortunes, or to those of the people he was ostensibly elected to represent.

While it is true he must yet withstand Federal and State investigations into bribery and corruption that have so far made convicted felons of his “closest friend and ally” Jack Abramoff and two of his former aides, odds are that Mr. DeLay will not soon lose his bearings in the predictable sea of American politics.

The face of American intolerance and mean-spiritedness is changing but much remains intact of a movement that has — in the last twenty-five years — diminished stewardship of our national resources, abdicated responsibility for protecting our environment, and abandoned any notion of collective care and assistance for the unlucky, unwealthy, and unloved among us.

At the same time, we have vastly expanded our institutions of government — and their powers — mainly in the service of transfering public assets to private interests.

Many a clear-thinking, good-hearted citizen may rejoice tonight in the downfall of a hubristic, hard-hearted former pest control technician from Sugar Land, Texas. Hope might even gain a foothold in the dream that the wealth and power and resources of the greatest nation ever formed might be harnessed to make the world a better place for the many as opposed to a more secure one for the few.

Tom DeLay’s departure from Congress is a fine thing but it’s already yesterday’s news.


  1. Mike - April 5, 2006 @ 6:33 am

    Bumber sticker seen around Texas lately, “Improve Texas with Delay”. I say, Improve Congress without Delay. Yesterday’s news? Part of the Fox announcement was he will not step down until sometime around June as I heard it. Why Wait?

  2. Tam O’Tellico - April 5, 2006 @ 5:43 pm

    I listened as long as my churning stomach could stand the sanctimonious bleating of DeLay explaining his decision to leave Congress and carry on the good fight against those who are out to destroy Christianity in America. If ever a man were the 21st Century embodiment of a Pharisee, it is Tom the Exterminator DeLay. The man is so transparently a fraud and a flim-flam artist that it is amazing that anyone would vote for him. But hey, 58 million people couldn’t see through his boss either.

    In any case, I think this bears repeating on this thread:

    The Summer of Our Discontent

    As predicted some time ago, the house of canards is beginning to fall. Tom DeLay has declined to run for re-election because of his legal troubles and the political fall-out from the Abramoff Affair. DeLay may be one of the first to fall, but he will be far from the last.

    Given his obstinate and combative nature, DeLay hung on long past the point most politicians would have given up hope. Who knows – given the strange nature of Texas politics, he might even have retained his seat. But it would have been an empty victory, since his political power in Washington could never be regained.

    His victory would have been even more pyrrhic for the Republican Party since the fight would have focused national attention on a subject Republicans are desperate to have go away. While it is true that some Democrats took money from Abramoff, in most cases it was a second or third-hand transaction through one Abramoff’s dummy charities or PACs, making it much harder to prove a quid-pro-quo. Those who end up facing a judge, in this affair and many others, are much more likely to be Republicans.

    We are likely to see more resignations and guilty pleas in the near future as the party attempts to keep press coverage of the scandals to a minimum. We will also witness calculated delays such as we saw before the 2004 elections. The object now is to stall these cases so that trials and pleadings will occur after the November elections and before the 2008 elections.

    But it may not be possible to keep the lid on one case much longer, a case that involves perhaps the biggest fish short of Bush or Cheney – Karl Rove. No one should be surprised if Rove resigns soon. And in a rare instance of honesty for this administration, the reason offered may well be the truth.

    In resigning, Rove may take the blame for the many political disasters that have hit this administration lately, such as the Harriet Miers appointment, the Katrina non-response and the Port-O-Let debacle. Such political disasters and the response to them give the appearance of rank amateurism, but whatever else his failures, Rove is no political amateur.

    So how can such monumental failures be explained? Let’s just say Karl Rove has other things on his mind – things like staying out of jail as a result of his involvement in and cover-up of the Plame Affair. Every day brings Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald closer to an indictment of Rove, if not for the outing, then for the cover-up.

    All this could not come at a worse time for Republicans. The Ides of March may have passed without a major political storm, but the storms of the summer of our discontent loom ominously on the horizon.

    ©2006 Tom Cordle

  3. Tam O’Tellico - April 5, 2006 @ 6:18 pm

    More from the endless tale of woeful incompetence in this administration.

    First, we finally have an explanation for why things are proceeding so slowly in the aftermath of Katrina. The deputy press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, Brian J. Doyle, 55, was arrested for using the Internet to send smut and seduce what he thought was a teenage girl. Turns out the girl was an undercover Polk County (FL) Sheriff’s computer crimes detective. Doyle the Idiot even used his real name and gave out his dept phone and cell number. It looks like this administration can’t even hire incompetent perverts.

    Then there’s the sad story of Justin Berry, 19, who turned over a list of over 1,500 child porn users to Bush’s Justice Department. So far, the only action taken by JD was to unseal the file and thereby endanger Berry’s life. All a mistake, the JD asserted, thereby confirming Alberto Gonzalez isn’t the only incompetent in the JD. Ironically, some in Washington are clamoring to have one of the real heroes in the JD, Patrick Fitzgerald, displaced for being too effective.

    Another irony: The administration has been tightening up the vetting process to eliminate homosexuals from the administration. Apparently, child molesters and hebephiles are okay as long as they aren’t chasing children of the same sex.

    All this puts me in mind of the remark by Harriet Meirs that Bush was the most brilliant man she ever met. That may well be true if she was referring only to this White House, but it still is damning with faint praise.

  4. lonbud - April 5, 2006 @ 10:49 pm

    Are DeLay and his ilk Pharisees or Philistines? I can never keep ’em straight.

    But after a little research, I think I have it:

    DeLay and his ilk are Pharisees.
    w and his ilk are Philistines.

    Can’t tell the players without a scorecard….

  5. Tam O’Tellico - April 6, 2006 @ 6:56 am

    DeLay would likely still be pursuing his Congressional seat and Washington power base were it not for the fact that in addition to Jack Abramoff, two of his closest aides are now in a talking mood. Tony Rudy pled guilty and Ed Buckham is probably next. Stay tuned for more charges, including Bob Ney.

    One of the more curious particulars of DeLayed Justice is that his lawyer turned over more than 1,000 internal emails – though none are from DeLay himself – his lawyer claims DeLay doesn’t email. Of course not, any good crook knows better than to leave a paper trail.

    Still, DeLay must be aware that in the absence of such a paper trail, the squealing of pigs and rats becomes even more important.

  6. Tam O’Tellico - April 6, 2006 @ 7:13 am


    It’s hard to make these distinctions because the bottom line is they’re all crooks. But if you want to know who is who and which is what, here’s the scorecard:

    Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson are Pharisees – men who use religion to fleece their followers of their money.

    Dick Cheney, Ken Lay and Bernard Ebbers are Philistines – men who use politics to fleece their followers of their money.

    Tom DeLay, W and Jack Abramoff are Pharistines – men whose religion and politics to fleece their followers of their money.

  7. Tam O’Tellico - April 6, 2006 @ 8:10 am

    As for self-serving assertions by this administration that only terrorists are being spied upon illegally, we are left to wonder whether the known facts that belie those assertions are a statistical aberration or something far more sinister. Those of us who distrust this administration cannot feel reassured by the lastest news out of Washington :

    Pentagon Admits to More Spying on Peace Activists
    By Will Dunham

    Wednesday 05 April 2006

    Washington – The Pentagon said on Wednesday a review launched after revelations that it had collected data on U.S. peace activists found that roughly 260 entries in a classified database of possible terrorist threats should not have been kept there.

    The review was ordered in December by Stephen Cambone, under secretary of defense for intelligence, after revelations that the database included information on U.S. citizens including peace activists and others who did not represent a genuine security threat.

    NBC News and defense analyst William Arkin disclosed at the time a sample of the database containing reports of 1,519 “suspicious incidents” between July 2004 and May 2005, including activities by antiwar and anti-military protesters. This included a military intelligence unit monitoring a Quaker meeting in Lake Worth, Florida, on plans to protest military recruiting in high schools.

  8. bubbles - April 6, 2006 @ 10:14 am

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