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March 31, 2005

Comments

jesselee

Nice post, although I think you over-simplify my argument a little bit. What I actually said was...

Ultimately, only the GOP Conference, including Hastert himself, can force him out. But just as nobody wants to be the last one off the sinking ship, tainted as a supreme DeLay loyalist, coming out against him while he is still in power is perhaps even more risky - especially so long as he may not step down or he may just be replaced by one of his pals in the current GOP Leadership (puppet regime?). And so in all likelihood, the only ways for DeLay to go down will be for Rove and/ or others to convert Hastert himself, or for that insurgent GOP contingency to risk it all and take him on.

So Rove doesn't have any power per se, he would have to convince Hastert. And you're right that even Hastert would be playing with fire, but he's the only one who could possibly convince the GOP conference to vote him out of the position. That's especially true b/c the move by the Conference would have to be en masse, no trickle of such dissent would be allowed b/c the first people to stick their necks out would be punished as examples. Unless, as I said, there was a rebel GOP caucus that took the entire Leadership on and won the public relations battle - a tall order.

That said, I think your conclusion is certainly correct that DeLay is getting it together for the long haul. It could indeed get very bloody.

JimPortlandOR

I soooo want to see this man gone from politics.

Other republicans forced from the House leadership left when their actions brought the House and the Republicans under disrepute. Delay won't go that way, since he has no sense of shame and he rules by fear - that will make it very hard for members to speak against him, even amongst themselves.

I fear Delay can't be brought down until he is indicted for something at the least. The Texas prosecutor is methodically working in that direction, but we won't see results of that in 2005.

Maybe Delay can escape overthrow entirely if we get into the 2006 election cycle before he is indicted, since he will pull all the fund-raising levers to support his friends and destroy his enemies.

This isn't going to be as easy as the Gingrich overthrow, and we shouldn't count on winning. We can keep on turning up the heat on the other Republican House members for association and accepting funds from Delay, and perhaps that is the most likely outcome: weakened Repub. candidates that tow Delay's party line.

praktike

You people are just extreme extremists who hate our freedoms.

Armando

Agree with that Ezra.

Also agree with Prak, though I think he's is sort of joking.

Kenneth Fair

Having watched DeLay for a long time now, I think you are absolutely correct on this, Ezra.

What many of those who see DeLay don't realize is how deep his power flows. He's been the bagman for a long time now. He's been punishing disloyalty and purging insufficiently radical GOP members for over a decade. Most of the House GOP--including Dennis Hastert--owe their positions to DeLay. With his strong ties to Grover Norquist and the Christian right-wing, he has power over a lot of money and many zealots for the cause. In many cases, he determines whether GOP candidates get enthusiastic support or a primary challenge.

All of which is a fantastic political opportunity for the Democrats. The GOP is the party of Tom DeLay--literally--and we should say so often and loudly.

Kimmitt

No way the SCLM actually airs the insane parts of DeLay defending himself.

Steady Eddie

When you strike at a king, you must kill him.

Simple as that. No way does DeLay go until and unless it becomes a foregone conclusion by the overwhelming weight of charges against him. Given all that's been written, very accurately, here and elsewhere about DeLay's sole motivation being personal power, no one who's not already an apostate (and thus inconsequential in inner House GOP circles) will take the risk of turning on DeLay until that weight is indeed overwhelming and irrefutable.

OTOH, DeLay has the defects of his strengths, and like a megalomaniacal pirate, has burned the congressional GOP's lifeboats. They're chained to him by the same chains he forged in their rise to the majority, (how many more metaphors can I mix here, hmmmm?), and they indeed (per Ezra) have no easy escape route.

bleh

Hmm, unlike JimP, I soooo DON'T want to see this guy gone from politics ... YET.

As others have observed, he's Gingrich-ite. I think he's actually UGLIER than Gingrich, politically speaking.

And he's really a poster-boy for hubris. The Greek dramatists would have no trouble with HIM.

I want sturm und drang. I want frothing at microphones. I want sanctimonious Democrats publicly mourning the loss of DIGNITY in the PEOPLE'S HOUSE. I want ... yes, I'll say it ... I want JOE LIEBERMAN to pontificate lugubriously about the shame this corrupt individual has brought upon a once-proud Congress.

I want to see him twist in the wind, as his legs kick, and he slowly, slowly, strangles to death.

Steady Eddie

Adding one more thought to the above, Rove is not a significant player in this congressional drama unless he can devise some way to ease DeLay out with minimal damage to other congressional Republicans -- from Democrats or DeLay's retaliation.

Congressional Republicans would be splitting from the WH agenda somewhat anyway in the normal course of second presidential terms, but the WH has played into the most destructive aspects of this dynamic with their anti-Social Security crusade, which comes from think tank ideologues who contribute essentially nothing to Republican campaign coffers. Gutting Social Security ordinarily would be exactly nowhere on the Business Roundtable's agenda, and congressional Republicans are only too aware of that.

C Paris

Dems shouldn't try to push Delay off the stage yet. I agree with kenneth and bleh. Delay should be portrayed as the conscience of the Repug party. The more the public sees of this guy, the more appalled they are.
Tying other repugs to him will tar them with the same brush. Too bad...if they don't denounce him - they must be like him.
Remember Dubya said "if you're not with us, you're against us". There is no time for nuance.

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