[Mb-civic] GOP Ignores Lessons of Democrats' Past Mistakes - Terry
M. Neal - Washington Post
swiggard at comcast.net
Thu Sep 29 04:05:15 PDT 2005
GOP Ignores Lessons of Democrats' Past Mistakes
By Terry M. Neal
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 28, 2005; 6:27 PM
In response to the criminal charges he now faces, House Majority Leader
Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) has offered up the time-honored defense of Washington
politicians: My enemies are out to get me.
In a Capitol Hill news conference, DeLay lashed out, calling the Texas
prosecutor who brought the felony charge against him an "unabashed
partisan zealot" and a "fanatic." DeLay's supporters echoed the theme.
House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) -- the man who will fill in for
DeLay -- said: "Unfortunately, Tom DeLay's effectiveness as Majority
Leader is the best explanation for what happened in Texas today."
It didn't take long for DeLay's supporters to get the talking points. In
a statement e-mailed to reporters hours after news of the indictment
broke, the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, leader of the Traditional Values
Coalition, said DeLay was "a Christian man" and accused prosecutor
Ronnie Earle of exacting "political retribution."
Yet, The Washington Post's Jeffrey Smith reported last year that "Earle,
an elected Democrat who oversees the state's Public Integrity Unit,
previously prosecuted four elected Republicans and 12 Democrats for
corruption or election law violations."
And the Associated Press reported last December that Earle had
prosecuted some of the biggest Democratic names in the state, including,
"former Texas House Speaker Gib Lewis, former Texas Attorney General Jim
Mattox, former State Treasurer Warren Harding and former Texas Supreme
Court Justice Don Yarbrough."
Buried under a sea of political scandal in the late 1980s and early
1990s, congressional Democrats often evoked the same defense. And it
didn't work .
"Common Cause has made itself the handmaiden of a partisan political
initiative," Democratic House Speaker Jim Wright (Tex.) complained in a
May 18, 1988, press release --the day the nonpartisan watchdog group
filed an ethics complaint against him in the House.
Wright resigned the next year in disgrace. Republicans exploited
Wright's troubles and a series of other Democratic foibles to put an end
to the Democrats' four-decade reign in Washington in 1994.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Mb-civic