So while it would be unthinkable for a reasonable person to suggest that someone -- even a politician -- ought to have to prove his innocence, it is perfectly reasonable to demand that of one as presumptively sinister as Tom DeLay. (If you think I'm exaggerating, all you have to do is recall the venom constantly directed against DeLay, way before he was ever accused of infractions of any kind, other than endorsing an ideological agenda liberals find repugnant.)
DeLay is just another in a long line of victims whose major crime is unabashed conservatism. If the Left can demonize someone as aboveboard as I personally know John Ashcroft to be, and if they can with a straight face paint Kenneth Starr as a sex-obsessed ne'er do well, they can ruin anyone -- mostly with impunity.
At this point -- as others have cogently written -- it doesn't appear that Mr. DeLay has done anything worthy of being ousted as House Leader. He can hardly be crucified for paying family members from campaign funds for legitimate work they performed when House rules expressly authorize the practice -- because it is permitted by congressional regulations. He can hardly be cashiered for a trip to Moscow paid for by the National Center for Public Policy Research, not Russian companies. He can hardly be faulted for a trip to South Korea funded by an organization that had only very recently registered as a foreign agent, unbeknownst to DeLay. And he can't be removed because a liberal, politically charged prosecutor indicted three of his former associates, especially when DeLay himself hasn't been implicated in the case.
But no matter. Democrats will just keep throwing charges against the wall until something sticks, because this is ultimately about power and thwarting the conservative agenda.
If it turns out that DeLay has engaged in misconduct that warrants his stepping down, then he should graciously do so, regardless of the hypocrisy and double standards effervescing from the other side. Otherwise, he should remain in his position and continue to fight aggressively for the things he believes in -- the very things motivating the opposition to destroy him.
In the meantime Republicans better stand by Mr. DeLay. Who knows? Any one of them could be next.
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