So, I saw this as breaking news on Fox as I left the house this morning and haven’t had much time to research the story. One nugget I heard yesterday had to do with this, but I didn’t find the details until just now:
WASHINGTON – Arizona’s Rep. Jeff Flake on Friday was among Republican lawmakers leading efforts to permanently replace Rep. Tom DeLay as majority leader amid the growing corruption scandal tied to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Flake and Rep. Charles Bass, R-N.H., began circulating a petition to House colleagues calling for a special election when the House returns to Washington later this month to pick “permanent representatives for any vacant leadership position.”
“Congressman Flake is not pleased with the current direction of the Republican Party and he feels that a leadership election would spur some competing visions for reform,” Flake spokesman Matthew Specht said. “He believes that the party needs a course correction and that starts with an election for a permanent majority leader.”
Now, Representative Flake is my congressman. I generally agree with most of what he stands for, although I frequently find myself wondering about his effectiveness in Congress. He seems to be against things more than he is for things, which in a weird sort of way, reminds me of the democrats. He is very conservative (which I like), especially on spending (which I really like), but he has a reputation for being hard to work with in Congress so I wonder how well he is representing my district. Those 320-10 votes – he’s usually one of the 10, voting against a bill on principle because of a spending issue. I LOVE the principle, but I think he goes about it the wrong way.
Which brings me back to circulating petitions to oust the majority leader. Tom Delay has been, on balance, a good majority leader for the party. He’s brought a hell of a lot of bad publicity, and the target on his back is largely of his own doing. I love the fact that he smiled in his booking photo after being arrested to deny the MSM the opportunity to photoshop his picture for the next weekly news magazine, a la OJ Simpson. But that kind of thing sends the lefty fringe over the edge, and that brings more attention. Bottom line, Delay pushed the edge and surrounded himself with unethical people, but I doubt he broke any laws. If he did he deserves whatever punishment he gets, but my sense is this whole sordid affair (regarding Delay’s involvement, not Abramoff) has been largely manufactured by the Dems and their MSM lackeys.
So, Delay showed bad judgment in getting caught in the appearance of impropriety. Just the appearance, given the current political climate, should be enough to make him take one for the team and resign. What he didn’t need to do is resign under pressure, with a knife in his back from my congressman.
Now that he has decided to resign, who will take his place? Most media reports I’ve seen agree that current majority whip and acting leader Roy Blunt (MO) is the frontrunner, and John Boehner (OH) confirmed as challenging him.
There’s something to be said for having someone in the leadership that has zero name recogntion. Speaker Dennis Hastert hasn’t been villainized by the opposition because no one knows who he is, and he doesn’t do anything controversial (that I’ve heard of). That’s one approach.
Another approach would be to go with one of the dark horse candidates, specifically Mike Pence of Indiana. Representative Pence is known as the fiscal conservative who dared to suggest that Hurricane Katrina relief be paid for by offsetting cuts in earmarked appropriations (i.e. PORK) in other districts. I could find the links on Instapundit, but this post is so long already I think I need to stop.
So what was the point of all this rambling?
- Tom Delay out – not a bad outcome
- Jeff Flake – love the positions, hate the methods
- Mike Pence – more interesting than the favored candidates
Brevity is the soul of wit, and I shall endeavor to remember that for the next post.