Dick Polman at the The Kansas City Star has an insightful piece about how the GOP faithful are rallying around their man, Tom DeLay, and what that means:
In a bygone era, circling the wagons was often the prelude to the fall, but now it might be a sign of strength. In these times, a politician under fire arguably can survive by stoking his base, painting himself as the victim of an extremist conspiracy, and relying on well-organized activists and friendly media (talk radio, Internet blogs) to raise money, and cast fiery aspersions on the accusers.
For these reasons and more (including the IOUs that DeLay has amassed, thanks to all the big money he has raised for his congressional colleagues), not a single influential House Republican has called for DeLay to quit his leadership job. Unless that happens, he stays.
One Republican who has faced political heat back home because of the DeLay controversies, Rep. Rob Simmons, of Connecticut, said there should be a new vote on the rules changes, which he favors, to settle the matter once and for all.
The Washington Post editorializes that yesterday's offer by House Ethics Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) to investigate Tom DeLay and change committee workings "Ultimately...isn't good enough." Hastings' offer to extend reviews by three months upon request of the ranking Democrat, Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) and to put all complaints to a vote doesn't cut it. First of all, with a 50-50 party split on the committee, votes would more than likely be a deadlock; second of all, the new policies would not be binding on any future chairmen of the committee.
Major corporations such as AT&T, the Corrections Corporation of America, and Exxon Mobil, are among the recent donors to Tom DeLay's children's charity, the DeLay Foundation for Kids, according to a report in today's New York Times. While the charity doesn't disclose its donors, the Times gleaned the information from a review of charity records released by the companies and other documents. Melanie Sloan gets the quote on why this matters: "Having a good relationship with DeLay depends not just on funding his campaign committees and his political action committees, but also his pet causes," she told the paper. Read more about DeLay's charity work in Salon.
The Houston Chronicle's Michael Hedges has more to report on DeLay's skybox. A Rocky Mountain Telegram columnist has his tongue firmly in cheek when discussing his reaction to DeLay's email to supporters this week. It's day four of the Tom DeLay Political Deathwatch at Doonesbury.