|Tom DeLay- Corporate Whore|
Tom DeLay and the Bridge to Nowhere
New York Times Editorial
Published: October 23, 2005
The situation in the House was torturous for Republicans last week as Representative Tom DeLay, their money-raising master and bare-knuckle champion, was arraigned on campaign fraud charges. Loyalists were caught between winking at Mr. DeLay's "temporary" resignation as majority leader and flinching at his resolve to maintain an iron hand on the agenda despite his coming trial.
Fellow Republicans are becoming edgy at the sight of Mr. DeLay still using his old leader's office, and working the floor on close votes. Mr. DeLay already has had to retreat before ultraconservative lawmakers who sense his weakness; he bowed to their demand for $50 billion in budget cuts across five years, with much of the pain focused on the neediest. Speaker Dennis Hastert had the chutzpah to blame the impotent Democratic minority for not finding "ways to keep our children from bearing the burden of a skyrocketing deficit." Much of the deficit, of course, is due to President Bush's binge of tax cuts for America's most affluent.
The intramural warfare sparked by Mr. DeLay's problems has spilled over to the supposedly calmer Senate. A point of open fury was reached last week as Tom Coburn, a freshman Republican senator from Oklahoma, argued that his colleagues could really show steel by sacrificing some of their treasured billions in pork projects, beginning with Alaska's notorious "bridge to nowhere."
Within minutes, Ted Stevens of Alaska, a grandee of pork, was apoplectic, warning he would quit public service if the bridges were killed. "I don't threaten people; I promise people," Senator Stevens, a Republican, growled.
The Republicans, of course, have a way out of all this posturing and growling. All they have to do is spike the $70 billion in additional upper-bracket tax cuts that President Bush has put on their agenda.
Comments: Post a Comment