Tuesday, April 04, 2006

DeLay Won't Be Missed

As most of you know by now, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is resigning. DeLay made this decision because he was worried he’d lose his seat to the Democrats this November. Now the Republicans can field a less-tarnished candidate in DeLay’s heavily Republican district.

This move unfortunately denies DeLay’s constituents the chance to throw the bum out, but I’m not complaining. Throughout his career, DeLay has embodied the worst qualities of modern politics: power-grubbing, divisive, arrogant, spiteful and unethical, to name a few. His absence from Congress can only improve that institution.

Am I too hard on the man? No. He is what’s wrong with Republicans. Yes he was a cunning leader who was instrumental in the Republicans rise to political dominance, but at what cost? In his wake the party is deluged by scandal and unmoored from its traditional commitments to smaller government and balanced budgets. Instead of standing for ideals, DeLay stood for little more than the consolidation of power. Such a man is of no benefit to the nation.

But at least we can look at this news and say that our system, while not perfect, works. Elsewhere in the world, DeLay would have continued on without rebuke, his power untouched because he would be untouchable. But not here. Not in a country with deep layers of checks and balances and a free media and a citizenry with the right and the desire to reject even the most powerful leaders.

This should be a lesson for other Republicans and Democrats as well. You can only get away with corruption for so long. Eventually you’ll get caught and the people will not be pleased.

Here’s hoping the Republicans move past DeLay and return to their more noble roots.

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