A Brief Editorial from the Institute's Resident of the John Locke Chair
There has been considerable discussion of late about Senate Republicans lacking backbone, guts, or hangy down things, pick your euphemism. Yes, it would be nice if they had a little more stomach for a political scuffle. It would be nice if they would get with it and change the Senate rules to allow a vote on Bush's judicial nominations and stop this nonsense about John Bolton having once been mean to somebody (who probably had it coming anyway).
But honestly, can you blame them?
Who is going to have their back when they become public enemy #1 in the eyes of the Democrats and the MSM? If a Republican has a little fight in them they better be squeaky clean, because if they aren't whatever they have done will be portrayed as the biggest government corruption scandal since Senator Packwood chased his secretary around the desk.
Which brings me to Tom Delay. Is he a great guy? I don't know him, so I can not say, but I don't believe the media caricature of him either. Has he done anything that isn't standard operating procedure for both parties? No. He traveled at the expense of outside groups. Democrats in congress have done that even more than Republicans. He has his family on his campaign staff. Not unheard of. Delay has been repeatedly indicted by a prosecutor with a history of politically motivated indictments. Any convictions?
How many people are rushing to his defense? Other than George Bush, I can't think of any. Should we throw him overboard because he has become a liability to the conservative cause? That is open to debate, but don't be surprised when other Republicans get gun shy when the going gets tough. When the Senator gets through the maze and hits the paddle, will he be rewarded with a sugar cube or an electric shock?
Delay has become public enemy #1 because he is effective. He is tough. And he doesn't back down from a fight. If there is a piece of legislation that you dearly want to see passed, who would you rather have leading the fight? Tom Delay or George Voinovich?