April 5, 2006
The decision by Houston area congressman and former Majority Leader Tom Delay not to seek re-election is sad for him, but a lesson to all.
Delay is being chased by a vindictive and politically-motivated prosecutor known as Ronnie Earle. We’ve seen these types before. Lawrence Walsh comes to mind. Democrats think Ken Starr was in that mould, but his situation was far different.
When one of Delay’s top aides, Tony Rudy, pleaded guilty to influence peddling last week, the writing was on the wall. Delay denies any wrongdoing. This relates to the Jack Abramoff influence buying scandal that is still under investigation at a number of levels.
Here is the problem with Washington. Politicians come to town with pledges of cleaning up the mess left by the other party. Then they stay too long and, like one of those ionic breeze devices, start collecting dirt. Virtually everyone is forced to compromise at some level.
Tom delay has done some great work for Republicans and for adoption. But he probably stayed too long as so many do.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.