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Advice for Tom DeLay

Monday, 09 May 2005 12:00 AM

I was surprised, although I should not have been, when a syndicated columnist called to ask if I thought House Majority Leader Tom DeLay should step aside for the good of the Republican Party. The columnist said Democrats intend to make DeLay the poster boy for congressional corruption and that this would hurt Republican Members with marginal chances of being re-elected.

I suggested that stepping down, "throwing in the towel," would be the worst decision that DeLay could make. First, it would imply that he was guilty. I have been assured by DeLay that he has done nothing illegal or unethical of which he is aware, and that is good enough for me.

Second, his stepping down would be a victory for the Left. It would prove that the Left could drive one of our finest congressional leaders from office merely by filing ethics charges against DeLay. If anyone thinks House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., or House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., would not be subjected to the same treatment, think again. And that applies to whoever would join the House Republican leadership after DeLay's departure.

Some ethics charges could be filed against liberals. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., recently had allegations made against her by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and her other opponents, who think they have solid evidence that she has broken the law.

Nevertheless, conservatives could not stomach that kind of fight. While ethics charges eventually could be filed against a liberal congressman, there likely would be little follow-through because conservatives, by and large, are not street brawlers.

The liberals hate DeLay precisely because he is from the streets. He is not a Harvard-educated lawyer. He was a rodent exterminator before he was elected to Congress. DeLay had a strong stomach for that type of work and has an equally strong one for his work in the House of Representatives. That is why the Left desperately wants to bring him down. He knows how to fight.

Third, House Majority Leader DeLay wants to accomplish two things: to end abortion and to rein in the federal judiciary. He has said so publicly, and I believe that is the reason he is being punished. Both issues are in the Playground of the Left.

Abortion is a huge industry. The abortionists make large contributions to the Left Wing of the Democratic Party. The Left has convinced itself that a "woman's right to choose" is a momentous issue. Even with evidence suggesting that a pro-life position helps at the polls, the Left believes that this is an indispensable weapon in its arsenal.

Rush Limbaugh stressed in a commentary that the Left is losing when the people vote on specific issues. The Left has lost elections. Witness President George Walker Bush. Witness GOP control of Congress. Witness a majority of GOP governors and state legislators, the majority of whom are conservative.

When the people speak about term limits or the legislature speaks (as it has with more than a two-thirds majority for partial-birth abortion), the courts strike down the will of the people or the will of the legislature representing the people.

It is, as Rush correctly has pointed out, the Playground of the Left. Because it is their last bastion of power, Rush has predicted they would go any length to preserve the status quo.

DeLay is quite serious in wanting to correct these problems. If he steps aside, would there ever be another Republican majority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives who would dare tackle these issues? They might not admit this publicly, but they would say privately: "Look what happened to DeLay. He got involved with those highly charged emotional issues, and the other side forced him out. There is no way I want the same thing to happen to me."

So, two great problems of our time – abortion and federal judges – would not have a leader willing to find a solution.

In 1975 I heard a knock on the door of my offices, which were then near the Supreme Court building. When my assistant opened my door, there stood the lumbering figure of former Vice President Spiro T. Agnew. The vice president wanted me to arrange for him a meeting with the late Joseph Coors. I did.

During our discussion, Agnew said he thought he could have won had he chosen to fight the charges against him. I asked, "Well, if you thought you could win, why in the world would you have thrown in the towel?"

He replied:, "I did it for my family. I didn't want them dragged through the mud of Maryland politics."

I told him he did his family a disservice. If he had won and had been vindicated, he would have done his family a far greater favor. The same holds true for DeLay.

The fight against him is mean and vicious. No doubt it will get worse as the 2006 midterm elections approach, because the Left now has a credible candidate to oppose DeLay. I am sure it is awful for DeLay's wife and daughter to read and hear the things said about him.

Yes, DeLay could quit and the clamor would die down, although when the Left picks a target it never gives up. (The Left is still trying to destroy the reputation of Whittaker Chambers, a Communist who defected to the West in the 1940s.)

What would be the greater benefit to DeLay – to fight these charges and be vindicated or to leave Congress with a cloud hanging over his head?

Thanks for the advice, Mr. Columnist. But no thanks. As usual, you and your ilk do not have the best interest of the Republican Party or conservatives in mind when you offer advice. I would hope that if Tom DeLay were asked, he would give the same answer I gave and for the same reason.

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I was surprised, although I should not have been, when a syndicated columnist called to ask if I thought House Majority Leader Tom DeLay should step aside for the good of the Republican Party. The columnist said Democrats intend to make DeLay the poster boy for...
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Monday, 09 May 2005 12:00 AM
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