Wednesday, September 28, 2005

tom delay

So ABC News is reporting that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has been indicted as part of a campaign finance probe. Wow, what a shock. You mean a prominent politician may have been engaged in something unethical that was meant to raise money for his political party? I'll bet everyone was surprised by this.

Seriously, isn't this fairly old news in a sense? The indictment may be new, but I remember allegations about this surfacing quite some time ago. If memory serves, the GOP majority even rewrote the ethics rules so DeLay could could stay on as House majority leader, even amid the lingering questions about his alleged involvement in questionable practices. Now someone'll probably say they should rewrite them to allow him to stay on until something's actually proved.

Nothing's been proven, of course, although I can't help but note that the Republican response so far appears to have been to resort to ad hominen attacks on the prosecutor, rather than addressing the substance of the charges.

When the municipal GOP chairman in Clark was formally accused of using his position to get a job and pay increases for his girlfriend, he gave me a blow-by-blow account of his side of the story, provided me with documentation and gave me a person who could corroborate his story or shoot holes in it.

But even if DeLay is guilty of a crime here, I don't think it's appropriate to gloat, as MSNBC quotes prominent Democrats as doing. It's more a cause of mourning, because the rot at the heart of our political system is so widespread and the people caught in it are so quick to deny or sugarcoat it.

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