Former Majority Leader Tom DeLay apparently has announced that he will not seek re-election in the fall. No indication, yet, of his reasons.
It’s too bad, I think. DeLay was an effective leader, albeit too liberal in recent years. It’s possible, of course, that he did something wrong along the way. But there is no evidence of that in the public domain; as I’ve often said, the politically-inspired prosection of DeLay by Travis County’s discredited DA, Ronnie Earle, is a bad joke. As far as we can tell at the moment, DeLay appears to be yet another victim of the Democrats’ politics of personal destruction–the only politics they know.
UPDATE: Several readers have written to scoff at my support for DeLay. They may very well turn out to be right. If DeLay was a crook, it will come out soon; in that event, we’ll join in the chorus of denunciation. But at the moment, the evidence isn’t there, and DeLay is entitled to a presumption of innocence, in view of his long service to his country and to the Republican Party. If that presumption is rebutted by the facts that come out, so be it. But that hasn’t happened yet.
MORE: Former Blog of the Week Gateway Pundit has transcribed DeLay’s interview this morning with Fox News, and also has a link to the video. Some key paragraphs:
FOX News: Does the former employees convictions have anything to do with your decision?
Delay: No the Abramoff scandal has nothing ot do with me. The Justice officials say I am not a target in this investigation. What those men did greatly disappointed me but it has nothing to do with me… I know that the Left has used this to try to brand me with guilt by association (read any newspaper in the country), but I have always served I think honorably and ethically. I have never broken the law or the spirit of the law. In fact, I am the most investigated man in Washington and they still have not been able to charge me with anything because there is nothing there.
Delay on Democrats: Ha ha! Oh boy, I tell you. This is a Democrat Party that has no agenda. Can’t come up with an agenda. Has no solution. All’s they got is the strategy of personal destruction and character assassination and it hasn’t worked in the past. It isn’t going to work in the future. They are a permanent minority party.
FOX News: Does Ronnie Earle win?
Delay: He may have won this round. But, in the end we’re going to give him a good ol’ Texas whooping. The charges against me are frivolous. I’ve been indicted on laws that didn’t exist at the time. He knows that. This is a totally criminal operation using our criminal justice system for political purposes and political gain. It is absolutely outrageous that Ronnie Earle has abused the Texas judicial system. But, in the end we will beat him. He will once again as he has many times be embarrassed. He will embarrass Travis County and he will embarrass the Democratic Party of Texas.
I feel liberated. I will do what I can to unify the conservative cause.