Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Requiem for the Hammer

I got the word today that Tom DeLay decided to resign from Congress and not seek re-election, in spite of winning the primary decisively and being ahead of his democratic challenger in the polls.

DeLay's reasons were that the campaign would be both extremely nasty and extremely expensive.

He said the voters of his Houston-area district "deserve a campaign about the vital national issues that they care most about … and not a campaign focused solely as a referendum on me."

I'm also certain that higher ups in the GOP convinced him to take this step, in the belief that it would help the party as a whole in the mid-term elections.

That was a major error on their part. It is merely capitulating to what appears to be a concerted strategy by elements of the Democratic party to attack influential Republicans by whatever means.

And it removes an effective and principled leader from Congress, a friend of Israel and a stalwart in the War against jihad.

DeLay's prosecution in Texas on partisan, trumped up campaign finance violations is all but at a standstill, and on the verge of being laughed out of court..but the media perception, like wax dripping on a candle, has convinced a lot of people that there is `something there', especially in view of the Abramoff scandal.

Not that the Abramoff scandal has anything bad in store for DeLay either, IMO.

"I paid lawyers to investigate me as if they were prosecuting me," DeLay told Time's Mike Allen, who broke the story late yesterday evening. "They found nothing. There is absolutely nothing--no connection with Jack Abramoff that is illegal, dishonest, unethical, or against the House rules."

If DeLay did have some questionable dealings with Abramoff (along with half of congress on both sides of the aisle), retiring from Congress would have increased his vulnerablity by giving up his Congressional immunity. So obviously there's nothing there, unless DeLay is a fool..which he most decidedly is not.

Not only that. On Sunday, Bob Novak reported that Abramoff has privately told friends and associates that he has nothing on DeLay. And whatever one thinks of Novak's political views, he's usually pretty well plugged in.

No, it's all part of the perception..and the strategic demonization of DeLay by the Left and their dawgs in the Main Stream Media.

This has repercussions on both sides of the aisle.
By acquiesing to the undercutting of a GOP leader in Congress, the Republicans have sent a message to the party rank and file that they care more about media perception than principle, justice or reality, and that effective GOP legislators had better not depend on party support if they fall afoul of the Left's spin machine and its media jackals.

For the Democrats, this is not the victory it seems.

For one thing, the takedown of a principled public servant and his ouster from politics simply makes a few more of the best and brightest unwilling to get in the trenches, lowering the quality all around the board.

For another, the success of this kind of warfare assures that the other side will resort to it as well..to the detriment of the Republic.

I respect his decision, but I'm saddened that DeLay went along with this. For him, and for the rest of us.

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