DeLay to DePart
Tom DeLay announced last night via an interview with Time that he will leave Congress and not run for reelection this fall. In fact, he is planning to resign from the House as early as the end of May and change his residency from Texas to Alexandria, Virginia. Apparently in order to be removed from the ballot for November's election, DeLay would have to either "die, be convicted of a felony, or move out of his district," according to the Washington Post. As the author of the Time piece notes wryly, by moving DeLay will be "turning election law to his purposes for perhaps one last time."
My short reaction to this: Good riddance.
My slightly longer reaction to this: There are few elected officials who have done more lasting harm to the Republican Party and the state of American politics in the last ten years than Tom DeLay. His shenanigans (legal and/or otherwise) have painted the GOP with (at least) ten coats of sleaze, and his continued arrogance and selfish behavior only show that he has in no way learned from his errors.
Some are saying that DeLay "has the best interests of the party at heart" by backing out of the race now. I disagree. If that were the case, DeLay should have withdrawn before the Republican primary several weeks ago. Instead, he went through the motions of campaigning for that contest, and only now, under the threat of more indictments and plea deals with people close to him and his office has he decided to step aside. That's not altruism, that's jumping from a sinking ship - there's a difference.
Goodbye, Tom DeLay. Here's one Republican who can quite honestly say you will not be missed. Now it's time to move on, get out the turpentine and start washing away the slimy trail DeLay has left behind.