Serious business

The Day of New London, CT covers Rep. Rob Simmons statements to a ocal Chamber of Commerce regarding the Base Realignment and Closure commission (BRAC), the independent group that identifies military bases to be shut down and offers the list to Congress as an up-or-down vote. The hope is that the politics is, as much as possible, taken out of the decisions regarding the country's military bases.

During the presentation, Simmons joked about our demand that he ask Tom DeLay to resign:

Simmons said he's taken some political heat in recent weeks for not doing more to criticize the president's Social Security plan, which he opposes, and for not calling for an ethics investigation of House Republican Leader Tom DeLay, who has been accused of ethics violations.

But Simmons said while the BRAC list is still being drafted, it's not the time to make political waves. He had the crowd laughing with a mock telephone call to DeLay's office in which he asked the congressman to resign, and then continued, “But while I have you on the phone, I'd like to talk to you about our sub base. We really need to keep it open, OK Tom? Tom? Tom? Gosh, he's not there anymore.

“It's kind of funny, but it's serious,” Simmons said.

So, let me get this straight, Rep. Simmons... after the list comes out, that's when you'll call on DeLay to resign?

Now, I'm not so naive that I think that no politics enters into the BRAC decisions. But is Simmons really saying he can't speak out on major issues because his views might upset those in his party? It's the base commission now. What will it be next week? Will Simmons hide behind something else?

Where's his backbone? Or did the $150,000 from the DeLay-sponsored, ROMP fundraiser buy his silence?