Let's start our Tour DeLay today with the top story in the Chron, which is a recap of the Abramoff saga. Not much really new there. Cragg Hines muses about what an actual smoking gun from Abramoff might look like. He also notes that Abramoff has made the obligatory denial of what he said in that Newsweek story (see The Stakeholder for more).
Over in the WaPo, DeLay takes his "I AM the conservative movement!" tour to the Senate, where he says that the agenda of the Republican Party should be to say that the Democrats have no agenda. Or something like that. Via Josh Marshall.
Locally, DeLay will be in town this weekend to give a keynote address to the NRA convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The Houston Democrats invite you to give him a warm reception on Saturday. Here's a flyer (PDF) from the Bay Area New Democrats, which stresses that this is a bipartisan event and is NOT a protest of the NRA itself, just of DeLay.
KHOU reports on another self-proclaimed anti-DeLay Republican in Sugar Land. That's nice and all, but the fact that it's remarkable enough to be newsworthy means we've still got a ways to go. Via the Daily DeLay, which also brings us another DeLay flashback, this one on mass transit, and another editorial roundup from such deep blue places as Nebraska.
The gap between what House Republicans say on the record about their embattled leader Tom DeLay and what they say in private is wide but narrowing.
In public, most Republicans say that what's driving the criticism of the House majority leader is politics, not ethics. The Democratic "hit machine" is pouring millions into a campaign to oust the most powerful Republican in Congress. But the real target is the Republican majority and its agenda.
But in private, some senior leaders are saying it's only a matter of time before the most powerful Republican in Congress is forced from office. "Democrats should save their money. Why murder someone who is committing suicide?" said a senior GOP lawmaker, on condition of anonymity.
While the "gathering storm" has yet to hit local conservative talk radio as it has the national news media, there are also signs that the ethics allegations are beginning to rankle the GOP's conservative base. "Personal ethics are very important to the average evangelical," says the Rev. Richard Cizik, vice president of governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals. "When a person is seen to profit from their political connections, it doesn't speak well for that individual."
But he adds that he is not prepared to call for DeLay's ouster "because of appearances.... There's a benefit of the doubt."
Policital Wire notes that things are bad enough for DeLay that the White House had to issue a statement of confidence in him. Of course, in pro sports that's usually the last thing an owner says about a coach before he fires him.Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 13, 2005 to Scandalized! | TrackBack