Tuesday, April 04, 2006

DeLay's Final Day

I can't say I'm surprised that Tom DeLay has decided to resign from the House and not seek reelection. It is the right thing to do. And whatever can be said about DeLay, he is an astute politician. His battle against Ronnie Earle is an epic legal struggle, and it has already threatened to engulf this year's elections. Earle, if you'll recall, is the superzealous prosecutor who's had a portrait of DeLay on his dartboard for some time now, and the media attention given his case has only further fueled his desire to nail DeLay on conspiracy, money-laundering, perjury, jaywalking, whatever will stick. So he is not likely to give up the fight any time soon.

DeLay made the right decision in stepping down. The urge in such situations is to fight on, as he vowed to do last year. But this is bigger than DeLay, who has already lost his leadership position in the House because of it. Where it was once righteous to stand and fight, it has now become selfish because the whole Republican Party stands to lose in a big way if DeLay stays in the limelight over this case. The Dems are looking to make the public see the GOP as the party of crooks in this year's elections, and they've already succeeded in doing that in many circles. If DeLay remained in office, every news cycle would have brought daily updates on his case and fresh ammunition for the Democrat propaganda machine.

So, thanks to Tom DeLay for his service in the House. And thanks for being magnanimous in what surely must have been the toughest decision of all to make.

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