March 5, 2014
Netanyahu's inaction to Obama's provocations sends powerful message
Kerry, after apparent criticism by Schumer, seeks to allay skepticism on diplomacy
How to ruin a perfectly good kid in 10 simple steps
2014 Oscars played it safe, but was faith lost in the shuffle?
Apple joins Hobby Lobby in touting corporate values beyond profit
March 3, 2014
Alina Dain Sharon: In the Hebrew calendar, a leap year has extra month, not day
Latest Obama appointment to prove Prez set on emasculating so-called Israel Lobby
Jewish World Review
April 8, 2005
/ 28 Adar II, 5765
Get Tom Delay
For the old-fashioned, the definition of a "news story" is a
story that is new hence the name. But the newspeople at the
newspapers The Washington Post and The New York Times have an
updated definition anything that hurts Republican Majority Leader
Tom DeLay on any given day.
The Times just ran a front-page article reporting that DeLay's
wife and daughter receive payments from his political operations.
This story might have been news if it hadn't been known for years
and been the subject of a detailed report in the Capitol Hill
newspaper Roll Call on May 5, 2003 meaning the Times did a
follow-up 702 days later. And this story might have been scandalous
if it weren't for the fact that having family members on the
pay-roll is a common, bipartisan practice, accepted as legitimate so
long as they actually do work (DeLay's daughter runs his
congressional campaigns). This story can only be explained if some
editor at the Times is not barking at reporters, "Get news on Tom
DeLay!" but instead simply, "Get Tom DeLay!"
The same day as the Times front-pager, The Washington Post ran
its own front-page article on a trip DeLay took to Russia that was
ostensibly funded by a Washington think tank, but that really might
have been funded by a Washington lobbyist, in violation of House
rules. This might have been news if that trip hadn't taken place in
1997 and been reported in the National Journal on Feb. 25, 2005
meaning the Post did a relatively brisk follow-up after 39 days.
Most subjects of Washington scandals are undone by the steady
accumulation of new allegations. DeLay might be the first brought
down by the drip-drip of old allegations.
What is happening to DeLay is a ritual with all the carefully
scripted but irrational rules of an Aztec sacrifice ceremony. First,
the target is deemed "dogged by ethics questions." Then, every scrap
of negative information is splashed on the front pages, until out of
exhaustion the target's supporters abandon him. Finally, six months
after the target's demise, everyone scratches their head and
wonders, "What was that all about?"
There is no doubt that DeLay has gotten too comfortable with the
perks of power and had a cringe-making relationship with a sleazy
Washington lobbyist named Jack Abramoff. Given the ways of
Washington, these shouldn't be firing offenses, especially when the
outrage over them is driven less by good-government zeal than frank
partisanship. House Democratic campaign head Rep. Rahm Emanuel has
been open about making ethics charges a linchpin of the Democratic
The independent ethics groups that have been decrying DeLay's
practices, such as Democracy 21 and Common Cause, are allies in this
partisan push. Their contributors are hyper-Democrats like George
Soros, and their staffers are often former Democratic politicos.
They identify ethical government with Democratic government, and get
the cooperation of the press, which would have no use for DeLay even
if he were the re-incarnation of Mr. Smith. This is why House
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi can secure a federal grant for a
nonprofit that contributes to her political action committee, as The
Washington Times recently reported, and the story barely causes a
ripple, let alone gets recycled every 39 days.
The Democratic assault on DeLay is modeled on Newt Gingrich's
ethics drive against the Democratic leadership when Republicans were
out of power in the early 1990s. That tack proved successful, but
because it was combined with a serious intellectual and policy push.
That is what's missing from the current Democratic campaign, which
is all about DeLay, pure and simple. In fact, the Democrats have
taken to charging that the House is being distracted from its policy
work because of the DeLay controversy of their making. This amounts
to saying: "Stop us before we attack Tom DeLay again!"
Of course, the substantive bankruptcy of the congressional
Democratic minority is not news however you define the term.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment by clicking here.
Rich Lowry Archives
© 2005 King Features Syndicate