A petition calling for new leadership elections is being circulated by House Republicans, with the object of replacing Tom DeLay as Majority Leader. Even though, as we have said many times, Ronnie Earle’s indictment of DeLay is completely bogus, I’m afraid the change needs to be made. With everything now going on in Congress, this is no time for interim leadership. And even if DeLay did nothing improper in connection with the Abramoff affair or anything else, one of his former aides clearly is implicated (even if only after he left DeLay’s office), and a symbolic change may be appropriate.
Two Minnesota Congressmen, Jim Ramstad and my own Representative, John Kline, are supporting the petition. The AP quotes Kline:
The situation is that Tom’s legal situation doesn’t seem to be reaching clarity. There are stories of more indictments or questions associated with Jack Abramoff. And I think that Tom DeLay is going to have to concentrate on that.
There aren’t a lot of people whose judgment I defer to on principle, but John is one of them. If he thinks a change in leadership will be good for the party, the Congress and the country, that’s good enough for me.
By the way, the AP/Ipsos poll referred to in this article, which gives the Democrats a 13-point lead on the generic Congressional preference question, is worthless. The poll included 52 percent Democrats and only 40 percent Republicans, so it’s hardly a shock that respondents favored Democrats by the same margin.