"During my time in Congress, I have always acted in an ethical manner within the rules of our body and the laws of our land. I am fully confident time will bear this out."
Oh Tom, Tom, Tom. Need I remind you of this?
Mr. Hurt: Have you ever crossed the line of ethical behavior in terms of dealing with lobbyists, your use of government authority or with fundraising?
Mr. DeLay: Ever is a very strong word. [Washington Times Interview, 4/14/05]
I should say that The Corner reminds me of a Strom Thurmond retirement party right now--they're just falling over themselves to praise DeLay (couched in suitable rhetoric about how, if he really is corrupt, then forget it). You have to think eventually they're going to shoot themselves in the foot. Will it be Podhertz?
Very elegantly done....DeLay has wisely decided to retreat for now to fight again another day.
At least one center-leftist, however, thinks DeLay is done for good--not just in the leadership office, but in Washington.
Or perhaps Lowry:
He did the right thing, and this does leave an opening for a comeback. He was a fantastic majority leader, arguably--as Rich Galen said yesterday I believe--the best ever. He had an uncanny knack for reading the votes and persuading members. This was not a matter of him being "The Hammer," as the media would have it. As a colleague put it the other day, he was more like "The Concierge," doing favors, soothing hurts, taking care of his members so they would be there when they were really needed on a key vote.
I actually some what agree with the "concierge" description, in the most mafia-esque sense of the term. He could do favors, massage "family members", be a great friend. And if you displeased him, he could get you whacked. Ice cold.
Kos, of course, is delighted in a sort of "as if this isn't pure politics" sort of way. One of the more interesting things I've read is about Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), whose name has been floating around as a possible majority leader replacement. On the one hand, he's a DeLay ally, but on the other hand, he's an ex-FBI agent who did work on corruption cases. In a superficial media environment, that could give him and the GOP instant credibility on combatting corruption.
In any event, I don't know whether or not this is the tip of the iceberg that will sink the GOP's Titanic, or will work as an effective dodge and retrenchment that will nimbly avoid the ethical hounding they so deserve. But at least for one day, for one event, justice has prevailed.