Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Timing of Delay

Matthew Continetti of The Weekly Standard has penned a brief, but excellent article on the timing of Tom Delay's resignation. Regarding arguments that Mr. Delay's resignation had nothing to do with the Jack Abramoff investigation, Mr. Continetti writes:

This, even though his decision comes about 72 hours after his former deputy chief of staff, Tony Rudy, pleaded guilty to corruption and bribery charges in connection with the Abramoff probe. This, even though DeLay personally made his debut in the numerous court filings re: Abramoff as "Representative #2" in the criminal information filed as part of Rudy's plea deal. This, even though his former press secretary, Michael Scanlon, pleaded guilty to related charges last November. This, even though his former chief of staff, Ed Buckham, is also under close scrutiny in the Department of Justice's public corruption investigation. And this, even though DeLay's last "resignation," when he told Republicans he would not seek to reclaim his majority leader post, came swiftly on the heels of Abramoff's January plea.

This morning, Rush Limbaugh was entertaining his audience with assurances that the resignation had nothing to do with renegade district attorney Ronnie Earle's charges in Austin, Texas. True enough, but Mr. Earle's charges were nothing more than a political prosecution and aren't going anywhere. The real action is in Washington with the Abramoff investigation.

A large percentage of Republicans are not lamenting the loss of Mr. Delay (see, for example, Blake Wylieand Bob Krumm). Mr. Delay has unfortunately become emblematic of the type of Republican who had betrayed party principles of limited government in favor of the perks of power.

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