Wednesday, April 20

Dangling DeLay

The trials and tribulations of Tom Delay are continuing and growing. It's gotten so bad that the DCCC has put up a special DeLay Scandal site that is a near parody of the situation, using a flash page that animates all the linkages of dirty money and influence between DeLay, Jack Abramoff, Ralph Reed, the texas redistricting scandal, the misuse of homeland security and the FAA, the medicare giveaway to the pharmacutical industry, strongarming fellow republicans to fall in line with threats, Enron, "K' street lobbyists and more. DeLay in the meanwhile continues to play the "victim" card (ala Jeff Gannon/Guckert), claiming this is all part of some left wing smear campaign against him by the "liberal media", but even Fox News has covered this situation and slowly begun to change their tone.

Last week, Sean Hannity claimed that there were similar allegations of ethics violations against House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and proceeded to ask his guests if they thought the Democrats would be as willing to investigate Pelosi as they have been to hot to investigate DeLay? The ridiculousness of that question in the midst of an ethnics committee that isn't investigating anything due to rules changes implemented by DeLay, clearly didn't dawn on him.

Last year the House Ethics committee admonished DeLay three times, in response he had two of the Republican members of the committee who had voted against him replaced with members who had donated money to his own criminal defense fund. They then proceeded to change the rule that stated that issues would be automatically investigated even if there was a 5 to 5 dead-lock between the Democrats and Republicans on the commitee. The new rule enforces a default that they would not investigate in case of a dead-lock. As a result of this rule change the Ethics commitee has not met, as the Democrats now refuse to participate. Nothing and noone is being investigated. If the rule were reversed and the commitee were to meet, not only would they against investigate DeLay again, it's almost guaranteed that they would investigate allegations against Pelosi and others. Therefore Sean, as usual, shows that he is nothing but a man-of-straw and a right-wing shill.

This week, Fox News pundits on Special Report with Brit Hume seemed to have cooled on their support of DeLay. They now say that he's "brought most of this [criticism] on himself with his behavior" and that this isn't entirely the fault of a "vast left-wing conspiracy". Further, they went on to say (unwittingly echoing what Bill Clinton has been saying for the last few years) that both the left and right-wing are indeed vast, but also right out in the open. The DeLay scandals have gotten so bad that it's managed to arouse a perpetually slumbering CNN, prompting their own special report on the subject. But not even the "Clinton News Network" is anywhere near the worst of the allegations which have been circulating on the true left-wing (ie. Air America & Pacifica Radio), which have been talking about Delay's trip to the U.S. Territory of Saipan as the guest of members and lobbyists of that nations child-sex industry.

It's been reported that while in Saipan, DeLay visited some of their brothels - No, not as a client - and upon returning to the U.S. proceeded to ensure that Congress would not pass any lays threatening the current legal status of such companies. In short, he was paid by lobbyist to protect Saipan's child-prostitution rings from being declared illegal. This allegation hasn't even reached CNN or Fox News yet, and when it does - I suspect all hell's gonna break loose in the bible belt.

Moderate Republicans such as Rep. Christopher Shay's have already called for him to resign, while Right-Wing water-boy Sen. Rick Santorum has asked for DeLay to step forward and explain before the ethics commitee. But of course, there effectively is no more House Ethics Commitee. Delay has no one to explain too, and there's no one to give him a fourth, fifth and sixth slap on the wrist. He's also been losing ground (now polling below 50%) in his home district, which he just barely won last year, so things are starting to look a bit - dire.

DeLay's only chance is to undo the Ethics commitee rule change, let them investigate him, face the music and let that process "santize him" as it has in the past. Unfortunately, he's shown no inclination to do this, so he's simply going to twist in the wind and slowly drag the entire party down with him. (Good!) Certainly other Republicans will increasing begin to distance themselves from DeLay, but seeing as all but five Republican members of the House owe their seats to DeLay and his amazing fund raising, that's about as likely as a Red-spotted Owl turning Blue. This could turn into a serious threat to the Republican Majority in the House, or at least to the right-wing stranglehold on the party which might begin to elec a few people of genuine character and principle such as Chris Shays or Sen. Voinovich.

Either way, it's a good thing for the American people and I say bring it on in 2006!


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