Monday, October 03, 2005

A Thousand Cuts Or The Kitchen Sink?

Tom DeLay has now been indicted on money laundering charges. More here.

Although it is too early to really understand if DeLay is guilty or innocent it is beginning to imperil Bush and the G.O.P.'s effort to get back on message. Is this stuff politicized? Of course it is because Washington plays a zero-sum game and the Democrats smell blood in the water. Their biggest problem right now is finding someone who isn't ethically challenged to act as their point person. The usual hacks, like Richard "Pol Pot" Durbin and Chuck "FICO" Schumer have been largely silent. I would also imagine that Hillary will prudently avoid a discussion on fundraising. This looks like a job for... Barack Obama.

DeLay is further hampered by the fact that many conservatives are unhappy with his lack of fiscal discipline and the fact that over the last 10 years in power he has come to represent many of the things he held in contempt in 1994. At what point does DeLay become so damaged by these charges that he ceases to be effective, even if he is acquitted? Does the White House and Republican leadership want to fight for what may be a Pyrrhic victory?

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