Monday, December 05, 2005

DeLay Remains Under Indictment

A Texas Judge has upheld the more serious charge facing Tom DeLay while tossing out a second indictment. John Cole hits the right note, I think: this doesn't mean DeLay is innocent, nor does it mean he's guilty. It does, however, mean that he is finished as Majority Leader.

And that's something we can all celebrate.

Some Conservative bloggers are complaining that the majority of news sources are phrasing this as "some charges upheld" rather than "some charges dismissed." Glass half-full, glass half-empty. Outside the Beltway, which in itself (unlike the above links) is not making the complaint as a pure partisan point, argues that:
This isn't pedantry or partisanship on my part. Delay is in serious trouble and, even if he is ultimately acquitted on these charges, there is plenty of evidence that he played as close to the limits of legality as possible, almost certainly crossing the line of proper ethical conduct. Regardless, however, the news here is Delay's the conspiracy charges being dropped, not other charges remaining.

News, as the name implies, is about things that are different. An hour ago, Delay faced two serious charges; he now faces one. Considering that he faced the remaining charge when the day began, the new thing is the charge he no longer faces.

That seems a bit forced to me. Specifically, the "new" is that DeLay has one less charge. Broadly though, the "new" is that Judge Priest has made the first rulings on DeLay's dismissal motions. This is the first test of how Earle's much-maligned (by the right anyway) indictment will stand up. So it's news that part got dismissed, and news that part didn't--and unfortunately, incorporating both would probably be too unwieldy for an internet headline. Also, as noted above, with leadership elections in January, the decision to uphold any indictment spells the end of DeLay's leadership tenure--and that is news.


jack said...

There is also this gem from Gallop:

CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll. 803 Adults (713 Registered Voters). December 1-4, 2005. MoE +/- 4%

If Tom DeLay runs for re-election in 2006, in general, are you more likely to vote for the Republican candidate Tom DeLay or for the Democratic Party's candidate for Congress?

Tom DeLay: 36%
The Democrat: 49%

Voters' Opinion of Tom DeLay:

Favorable: 37%
Unfavorable: 52%
Unfamiliar: 11%

Based on what you have heard or read, do you think the charges against DeLay are definitely true, probably true, probably not true, or definitely not true?

Definitely True: 15%
Probably True: 40%
Probably False: 26
Definitely False: 8%

This is TX-22. His favorables in his own district are lower then Bush's in Maryland. Oh boy!

jack said...