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A Faerie's Farthing

Flitting through the internets looking for sparkly bits. All content mine and not to be reproduced without permission.

Location: All Material Copyrighted, United States

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Bye Bye, Bugman!

Bye Bye, Bugman!

I guess Tom DeLay can't put "I am the federal government" on his resume anymore. Even though his whinging for a new "unbiased" judge was successful, he didn't do as well as he'd hoped. While Judge Pat Priest threw out the conspiracy charge, he is upholding the indictment for money laundering. DeLay is awaiting trial as I type and it's a painful wait, as Josh Marshall points out:

To save his career, DeLay doesn't just need to beat this charge, he has to beat it quickly -- almost certainly by the end of next month or very soon after.

That's because in January there are probably going to be leadership elections in the House GOP caucus forced ahead by rebels who want to close the book on the DeLay era.

...So can DeLay get to trial anywhere near that quickly?

It's hard for me to see how. The clearest indication I could find was in the Houston Chronicle which said today that the judge in the case "told DeLay's lawyers last month that if he upheld either of the indictments, he would be unable to hold a trial for DeLay before early next year."

But his status as majority leader could be an entirely moot point, if the tea leaves about his candidacy prove accurate:

The Wall Street Journal's Brody Mullins Notes that if DeLay thinks the court proceedings will "drag on," he could choose not to run for re-election. "In Texas, Republicans must file for re-election by early January, and Mr. DeLay has yet to do so."

A pending trial would have to make campaigning difficult. It can't help that a solid majority among his home district both disprove of his performance and believe the charges against him are true. The whole scenario would have to be doubly daunting in light of recent poll results, which show DeLay losing to a generic Democratic Party candidate by a 13% margin. As Atrios is so fond of saying, poor Tommy - he's ugly and he's stupid and nobody likes him.

Between this trial and the recent developments in the Abramaoff/Scanlon debacle, seeing Mr. Hammer in the slammer might not be so far-fetched. Now if only his ham-handed gerrymandering were found illegal as well as unconstitutional...

While DeLay's strong-arm tactics in the Texas redistricting were especially egregious, the practice itself, is unfortunately, nothing new. This article gives a nice overview and proclaims gerrymandering a cancer on democracy. How sadly àpropos.


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