Tom DeLay throws in half a towel (house leader)

Apparently in response to a groundswell of squirming from within his own party, DeLay has announced he will not seek reinstatement as house majority leader.

The White House is retroactively in favor of that, although the admin was supportive of DeLay’s return to the leadership position until the statement was released.

You think this is going to resonate as an ethical house-cleaning (sorry re: pun) by the Republicans, or is it going to look more like the most recent of many signs that tales of corruption and mismanagement have the majority party on the run?

I think the latter: that it would have played better for the Republicans if the charges had been thrown out in Texas and DeLay had returned to office by the end of January; that they would have met Democratic accusations that the party still had a corrupt official in charge in the House with the reply that the charges were dismissed and the prosecutor who had pressed them had had a political axe to grind. Now it’s going to play as “The Republicans’ house leader was caught doing shifty creepy illegal political & economic maneuvering, and the party stuck with him until it was clear that they had him nailed pretty good, and now they’re abandoning him only because they think he’s a political liability not because they disapprove of what he did”.

Of course, there’s always the possibility he beats the charges and wins reelection in November, but I don’t anticipate that happening.

That depends entirely on the politics of the commentator.

Well, this is an election year, and shaping up to be a tough ones for Republicans, given that the White House is on the ropes somewhat, any number of members are compelled to do the embarrassed-throat-clearing routine whenever Jack Abramhoff is mentioned, and other stuff that escapes my mind at the moment. Given their problems, they really don’t need the spectre of Tom DeLay casting a long shadow on their party.

Reminds me of a few years back, when congressional Republicans had an Ahabesque woodrow for getting Clinton impeached. Given the nature of the charge that they, after years of witchhunting, were finally able to pin on him, it wasn’t a good time to remind the general populance that Republicans, too, sometimes have trouble keeping their peckers in their pants. So serial adulterer Newt Gingrich had to go. So did his first successor, who was publically exposed as an adulterer during the impeachment vote.

Company is coming and the house needs tidying.