April 12, 2005
Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT), the vocal moderate who recently grandstanded during the steroid hearings, has sharply criticized Tom DeLay, which will no doubt help garner a few hundred votes back home. No surprise there. There may be rumblings about DeLay in the GOP's social conservative wing, however: Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) said that DeLay should come forward and answer the ethical and legal questions. He reminded everyone that just because one doesn't like something DeLay did doesn't mean it was illegal or improper, which is a refreshingly forthright position. (See news.yahoo.com.) DeLay now has the choice of either airing his laundry, or else clinging to power, whatever the cost may be to his party. Our local newspaper, the Staunton News Leader opined today that "DeLay should relinquish his post as majority leader for the good of the Republican Party." Do they have the party's best interests at heart? The fact that they put DeLay's (probable) infractions on the same level as the dirty deeds of Jim Wright, while stating erroneously that Republicans have rallied around DeLay (only some have, in fact) makes me think not. DeLay may turn out to be entirely innocent, but I fear that Republican leaders will soon regret making party loyalty a higher priority than ethical integrity. (Remember what happened to Rep. Joel Hefley?) Then I heard Rush Limbaugh ranting about the Democrats' objective of undermining the Republican majority, which is no doubt true, but then he went on to proclaim in fervent tones what a decent and honorable person DeLay is. Click.