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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

DeLay Wants To Talk

Funniest lede of the day? This one, from AP (via CNN):”House Majority Leader Tom DeLay strongly denied wrongdoing Tuesday in connection with two overseas trips financed by outside organizations, and said he is eager to discuss the facts with leaders of the House ethics committee.”I like that “strongly denied.” What’s he going to do? “Weakly” deny wrongdoing? It reminds me of a great Hunter Thompson fantasy (we miss you, man) from Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, wherein a doomed candidate denies reports he’s withdrawing from the race and “predicts total victory in all states.” DeLay’s alleged “eagerness” to talk about his junkateering–especially the little casino-financed jaunt to the U.K.–is pretty funny, too. Yeah, I bet he just can’t wait to lay out all the details. The way this story’s going, it’ll probably turn out he made the trip on Hooters Air.But the best part is DeLay’s designated confessional box: the House Ethics Committee. Good thing he had the foresight to neuter the watchdog committee completely in a series of moves earlier this year. Making his case to those guys is the functional equivalent of sticking it in a bottle and dropping it in the ocean. But maybe he should wait a week or two before he gets chatty about his latest series of ethical lapses. At his current pace, there will be two or three more, er, ah, situations to explain by Friday. DeLay, of course, is blaming all his problems on a partisan Democratic witch-hunt. He’s giving us way, way too much credit for industry and imagination. Nobody could invent this level of ethics recidivism. And with more smoke in the air than a roadhouse on Saturday night, DeLay could burst into flames any day now, with or without Democrats helpfully offering some lighter fluid.

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