Don't DeLay, DePart
These charges, the Republican Congressman claims, also are groundless:
A Texas grand jury on Monday re-indicted Rep. Tom DeLay on charges of conspiring to launder money and money laundering after the former majority leader attacked last week's indictment on technical grounds.Now how many photo-ops of DeLay walking out in front of a group of other Republican Congressmen "in a show of support" are going to be needed to make the stench fade? And how long until it becomes difficult to cast these shoots?
The new indictment, handed up by a grand jury seated Monday, contained two counts. The money laundering charge carries a penalty of up to life in prison. The charge of conspiracy to launder money is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Last week, DeLay was charged with conspiracy to violate campaign-finance laws, forcing him to leave his leadership position.
The charges are getting serious. Campaign-finance violations are hard for voters to wrap their heads around, and while they make the politician sound like a weasel, they don't seem important enough to lock somebody up over. After all, "politician" and "weasel" are practically synonyms. Politicans are pretty much expected to violate campaign-finance laws, even if the laws were created by the people whose behavior they are supposed to govern and therefore full of gaping holes designed to keep the cash a-flowin'.
But now we're talking money laundering, which isn't quite so esoteric. This makes DeLay sound like a common thug, which, of course, he is. Even if he never sees the inside of a prison cell, and he probably won't, this might be the point at which the GOP leadership decides to cut bait. And even if money laundering charges don't make the GOP squeamish or cause sudden pangs of conscience within the party, even if we see another choreographed "rally of support," the voters might do what the party doesn't have the balls to do.
Which is as it should be. Because if "politician" and "weasel" are synonyms, it's dishonorable scum like DeLay who have made them so, and we can't be expected to lower our standards forever. Do the right thing for once, Tom: Resign, and go peddle your weak-ass "prosecutorial abuse" bullshit on the public-speaking circuit.