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Saturday, March 26, 2005

TX-22 Tom DeLay flops; GOP stomps

Posted by Bob Brigham
"Mrs. Schiavo's life is not slipping away, it is being violently wrenched from her body in an act of medical terrorism."

- GOP Majority Leader Tom DeLay


"Right now, murder is being committed against a defenceless American citizen. Mrs Schiavo's life is being violently wrenched from her body in an act of medical terrorism. What is happening to her is not compassion, it is homicide."

- GOP Majority Leader Tom DeLay

First, DeLay's ethical problems put him in the hospital and now it appears the guilt has caused DeLay to lose his mind. This is about the Ethics Investigations, of course:

One senior GOP lawmaker involved in the negotiations, who did not want to speak for the record, said that DeLay, who is fighting ethics charges on several fronts, faced considerable pressure from Christian conservative groups to respond to pleas by the parents of the brain-damaged woman to intervene before her husband, Michael Schiavo, removed the feeding tube that kept her alive. The lawmaker said that DeLay "wanted to follow through" but added that many House Republicans were dubious and suspected that the leader's ethics problems were a motivating factor.

Republican concerns grew, the senior House GOP lawmaker said, as a succession of federal judges, some of them conservative appointees, rejected Congress's entreaty. "A lot of members are saying, 'Why did you put us through this?' " said the lawmaker, who agreed to recount the events on the condition that he not be named.

Republicans are pissed. DeLay is burning Political Capital:

Just about the time when you think you've heard enough, the politicians enter the fray, particularly one headline-sniffer of note, Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, who is burning up all of his political capital on this issue and encouraging fellow compassionate conservatives to use this case to build a moral foundation for the next elections. I want no part of the karma that will come back to haunt him for trying to cash in politically on somebody else's misery.

Grover Norquist is pissed...

"Advocates of using federal power to keep this woman alive need to seriously study the polling data that's come out on this," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, who has been talking to both social and economic conservatives about the fallout. "I think that a lot of conservative leaders assumed there was broader support for saying that they wanted to have the federal government save this woman's life."

On Meet the Press, the discussion is on Stephen Moore being pissed off...

Mr. Harwood: Well, as polarized as our politics are, Republicans feel that now they're in control of the Congress, they can also be in control to a greater extent of the ethics process and they're not likely to enable Democrats to do things that are going to erode their popularity.

Ms. Ifill: Now, here's a weak point in that argument which is there are Republicans--the "NewsHour" this week that Stephen Moore was there who's Club for Growth, Free Enterprise Foundation.

Mr. Russert: Free Enterprise Foundation.

Ms. Ifill: He is one of Tom DeLay's staunchest supporters. He thinks Tom DeLay, the moon rises and sets on him, but even he said, "I'm a little concerned about this ethics question. I think we should be addressing that." He doesn't think that smells particularly right. That's where the cracks begin in the GOP armor where they disagree about how you handle these questions.

Even worse, in DeLay's TX-22, local Republican Officials are pissed off.

The worst case scenario for the GOP is for people to realize that Delay is crooked, nuts, and running the show. That is why the economic conservatives are scared to death when they see AP stories like this:

DeLay, 57, was first elected to Congress in 1984, representing Houston suburbs, and has risen to become one of the most influential conservatives on Capitol Hill.

He fights government regulation at every turn, a position hardened during the years before he came to Washington when he ran a pest control business and railed at "Gestapo" environmental regulators. He's also a leader among religious conservatives, pushing for a more God-centered nation.

Ahead of the 2000 presidential race, he outlined a vision where "we march forward with a biblical worldview, a worldview that says God is our Creator, that man is a sinner, and that we will save this country by changing the hearts and minds of Americans."

"We have the House and the Senate. All we need is the presidency!"

Despite a growing ethics cloud over the past six months, he remains enormously influential.[...]

Republicans tried and failed to change House rules so DeLay could remain majority leader in case he is indicted. They then replaced the panel's GOP chairman, who presided over the rebukes, along with two GOP members who supported them.

"I don't see this as a witch hunt," said Kathleen Clark, a government ethics expert at Washington University in St. Louis. "I see it as a question of whether anyone can do anything to hold someone that powerful accountable."

Posted at 01:21 PM in 2006 Elections, 2006 Elections - House, Texas | Technorati