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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

The Bug Man Gets Indicted

Well, the big news today has been the surprise decision of a Texas grand jury to indict House GOP Leader Tom DeLay for a criminal conspiracy to violate that state’s ban on corporate campaign contributions. I’ve written about the broader implications of this thunderbolt over at TPMCafe, and the DLC weighed in institutionally in a manner that I cannot really improve on.The really big picture is that all sorts of chickens are now coming home to roost for the GOP. You can hear them clucking all over Washington: in the White House, where the FBI investigation of Jack Abramoff is now penetrating the previously impermeable heart of Bush Era politics and policy; in the conservative commentariat, which is now torn between defending the Republican establishment and accusing it of betraying its principles; and in Congress, where DeLay’s troubles are creating a power vaccum among GOPers for whom power has been the only unifying principle. More and more, the Bush Era is beginning to resemble the Harding Era, without the humanizing features of sex and liquor. The self-righteous, clean-living (when it comes to private behavior other than indulgence in interest-group financed golf junkets) Tom DeLay is a perfect symbol of today’s GOP, and its unacknowledged sins.

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