From the Sydney Australia Morning News: "DeLay Resigns as Republican Support Melts Away"
"DeLay is the first political casualty of the Abramoff affair," said a Republican political strategist, Rich Galen."
Actually, the original piece was by reporter Jonathan Weisman and appeared in Sunday's Washington Post, but I thought it was cool to be quoted in Australia.
Dear Mr. Mullings:
Did you learn nothing about the value of becoming a better person after your trip to Mexico? By the way, that bruise on your forehead made you look, on TV, like Mikhail Gorbachev.
The Vengeance Faeries
For those who took the weekend off, Tom DeLay announced on Saturday that he would resign his post as Majority Leader of the US House and open the way for new leadership elections when the House comes back to work later this month.
You know the story: DeLay was indicted by a county prosecutor in Austin, Texas on charges of money laundering. Under Republican Conference rules DeLay had to step aside until that case was disposed of.
It is unclear what would have happened with regard to the Majority Leader slot when, as he claims will happen, DeLay is found innocent of the charges in Texas, but Abramoff rendered that moot.
I have been saying since this Abramoff thing started that the criminal issues may be limited to a dozen of so Members and a couple of dozen staffers. But the political problems will spread way, WAY beyond the legal issues.
No evidence has come to light that the DeLay-Abramoff connection was in any way illegal, but Abramoff is not just radioactive; he is a human Chernobyl. No one wants to be mentioned in the same time zone as Jack Abramoff, much less in the same news story.
So, the fact that there has been any connection between DeLay and Abramoff, in this toxic environment, was more than enough for the Republican Members in the House to decide they needed a new face to represent them.
Hence, DeLay is the first - but will not be the last - political casualty of the Abramoff affair.