Rep. Tom DeLay, whose iron hold on the House Republicans melted as a lobbying corruption scandal engulfed the Capitol, told TIME that he will not seek reelection and will leave Congress within months. Taking defiant swipes at "the left" and the press, he said he feels "liberated" and vowed to pursue an aggressive speaking and organizing campaign aimed at promoting foster care, Republican candidates and a closer connection between religion and government.Looks like the Hammer's gone all limp and girly. What happened to fighting to the very end? What happened to his accusations that this was all a partisan witch hunt with no merit? Where's Gob Bluth with the chicken dance when we need him?
"I'm going to announce tomorrow that I'm not running for reelection and that I'm going to leave Congress," DeLay, who turns 59 on Saturday, said during a 90-minute interview on Monday. "I'm very much at peace with it." ....
The surprise decision was based on the sort of ruthless calculation that had once given him unchallenged dominance of House Republicans and their wealthy friends in Washington's lobbying community: he realized he might lose in this November's election. DeLay got a scare in a Republican primary last month, and a recent poll taken by his campaign gave him a roughly 50-50 shot of winning, in an election season when Republicans need every seat they can hang onto to avoid a Democratic takeover of the House. ....
Asked if he had done anything illegal or immoral in public office, DeLay replied curtly, "No." Asked if he'd done anything immoral, he said with a laugh, "We're all sinners." Asked what he would do differently, he said, "Nothing." He denied having failed to adequately supervise members of his staff, even though two of his former aides have pleaded guilty to committing crimes while on his staff. "Two people violated my trust over 21 years," he said. "I guarantee you if other offices were under the scrutiny I've been under in the last 10 years, with the Democrat Party announcing that they're going to destroy me, destroy my reputation, and that's how they're going to get rid of me, I guarantee you you're going to find, out of hundreds of people, somebody that's probably done something wrong."Yes, it's sad to see what's become of Tom DeLay's sterling reputation at the hands of those damned, dirty Demmycrats.
Remember the patriotism he displayed in explaining that he really wanted to go to Vietnam but couldn't because greedy minorities had already snatched up all the plum front-line military positions from his district? Remember when he blamed school shootings on the teaching of evolution and "working mothers who take birth control pills"? Remember when he flauted a federal no-smoking law by insisting "I am the federal government"? Remember when he said "nothing is more important during a war than cutting taxes"? Remember when he tried to get homeless Katrina refugees huddled in the Superdome to admit that "this was kind of fun"?
Truly, he was the noblest leader ever to grace the Capitol with his wisdom, his humanity, and his gentle spirit. And then that damned liberal media and those evil Democrats tore him down and destroyed him. Bastards.
DeLay brushed off the torrent of investigative news articles questioning the funding behind the golf, private planes and resort hotels that marked his travel at home and abroad. ....Shorter Tom Delay: "I welcome this kind of examination. Because the people have got to know if their Republican Majority Leader is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook."
"You can't prove to me one thing that I have done for my own personal gain," he added. "Yes, I play golf. I'm very proud of the fact that I play golf. It's the only thing that I do for myself. And when you go to a country and you're there for seven days and you take an afternoon off to play golf, what does the national media write? All about the golf, not about the meeting that went to. I'm not ashamed of anything I've done. I've never done anything in my political career for my own personal gain. You can look at my bank account and my house to understand that."
"I don't care what history writes, " he continued. "What I care about, what's important to me is who I am, what I've done and what I can accomplish in the future. What I care about it what I believe in and how I conduct myself in fighting for what I believe in."