Thoughts of an American Centrist

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Oh Tom....

Since we wouldn't have an honest to goodness political blog without at least SOME reference to Tom DeLay, let's make our first post about the good representative of Sugarland Texas.

It is the Citizen's view that this guy is somewhat of a scum bag. I don't buy the lowest common denominator excuse of "Everybody else does it, so why are you picking on me?" While true at face value, this argument has never been (and can never be) justification for unethical behavior. After all, how would we respond to Kenneth Lay if he took the stand with a defense consisting of, "Well, a lot of other companies cook the books, why should I be singled out?"

In my mind, it is clear that Tom DeLay must go. It is quite true that there are plenty of other corrupt politicians in our legislature, and it is equally true that one of those corrupt congressmen may possibly succeed DeLay as Leader. However, this alone cannot be an excuse for letting the man slide. I didn't see many Republicans leaping to the aide of Sadam simply because "the next guy might be worse."

No, once disqualifying behavior is exposed action must be taken against the responsible party. Corruption will be a part of politics as long as ambition and greed are a part of human nature, but this truism is not an excuse to tolerate it. When a patient has cancer, a doctor will do his or her best to remove a tumor, even though there is a good chance the cancer has already spread and will reemerge later. In this case, Tom DeLay is a Tumor to both the GOP and the nation as a whole. He must be removed.

OK now that I've gotten all this high-minded ethics talk off my chest, I'd like to examine the political ramifications of this story. I am guessing that Howard Dean & Co. are now regretting the "legs" that this story truly has. Obviously, the original intent of the DeLay-bashing campaign was to hang an albatross around the neck of the Republican Party that would get out both the Vote and the Checkbooks of loyal and outraged Democrats for 2006. However, if DeLay is forced out of the Leadership role, there is a very real possibility that DeLay will become a martyr at the hands of the media-elite for the GOP while Democrats forget the whole incident and keep their checkbooks in their purses. It's going to be a delicate balancing act in the weeks and months to come, so keep a sharp lookout for signs of movement from both the DNC and the Whitehouse.

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