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Just in from National Journal's CongressDaily, a report from ousted Ethics Committee Chairman Joel Hefley (R-CO) on the response of GOPers when an "unidentified member" (House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO)) spoke up for Tom DeLay at the weekly Republican Conference meeting:

[W]hen asked by reporters how the Conference responded, Hefley said, "Divided, if you can tell by the applause." Hefley said many members of the Conference will privately acknowledge concerns about DeLay and the ongoing partisan deadlock at the Ethics Committee. Hefley added that the media coverage of DeLay -- combined with negative coverage of the GOP-backed rules changes to the ethics process and a large turnover of members and aides on the panel -- have created a "very ugly scene."

When asked about Hefley's comments later, Blunt said, "His [Hefley's] applause-o-meter must have been off."

Hmm...maybe it's the GOP leadership's applause-o-meter that's off, when assessing how the American people feel about Tom DeLay's pay-for-play scandals.