Wednesday, April 06, 2005
DeLay's Death Struggle
Big stories on two different DeLay scandals grace the front pages of both the NYT and WP today. And these scandals are separate from the one that Ronnie Earle is pursuing in Texas, as well as the huge Jack Abramoff scandal that has involved not only DeLay, but nearly every single prominent Republican from Bush on down. Kos has this take on the situation:
DeLay's opponents inside the GOP are offering reporters the dirt, aiming to take him down. They don't want him as the party's albatross in 2006. I'm actually rooting for him to survive another six months, but things don't look so good.This is how I see it: The battle is between the House GOP pragmatists (who are allied with Bush -- or else these stories would never have seen the light of day, not from Bush/GOP stenographer Susan Schmidt) who know that Ronnie Earle has DeLay hooked, and the rabidly crazy and vindictive (and rich, and powerful) people who back DeLay. Bear in mind that DeLay's been in bed with the religio-racist right for ages, and they have sworn to protect him no matter what. Note that the attacks on DeLay are coming in the form of anonymous tips, because no Republican congresscritter dares to go on the record about this. Not yet, and probably not ever: The RRR's memories are long and they do not cede vengeance to the Lord. But unless and until one of them steps forward, it will be difficult for the Bugman's enemies in the GOP to take out DeLay before Ronnie Earle does. Here's what I think will happen: DeLay and his friends, whose arrogance has distorted their critical-thinking skills, actually believe they can tough this one out, and will try to do so. To that end, DeLay's people will be leaking like sieves themselves, targeting the people they believe to be responsible for these attacks on DeLay. Tom DeLay is perfectly capable of zapping a GOP congresscritter or two to save his own hide. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if DeLay and/or his RRR friends actually go so far as to arrange for some dirt on Bush to be dumped off somewhere in retaliation. It will be a long, bloody process, and the stain it leaves will be fresh in people's minds come the 2006 campaigns -- especially since DeLay will be taking some folks with him. The GOP could get DeLay to do the honorable thing and leave now, but only if he were promised one hell of a payoff for leaving. He's almost certainly been offered a lucrative gig as the RRR's chief lobbyist, but you can't lobby Congress if you're in the slammer. Even if he doesn't do time, the dirtier he is made out to be, the less attractive he will be to the RRR. (We're talking about a guy with a re-elect of well under 40% right now, and it's not going to get any higher.) This is going to be the gift that keeps on giving, no matter what.
Couldn't have happened to a better guy, I say.
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