Battlepanda: Synthesizing the attack on DeLay


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Synthesizing the attack on DeLay

It seems like a critical mass of bad news have been hitting Delay. Some of it is even starting to stick on mainstream media. Some are confidently convinced that he's going down, that even Republicans are starting to desert him. But I still worry that this story is too diffuse to make an impact -- more allegations of malfeasance keeps trickling down, but what we need is a particular angle to focus on. Then, a story can emerge from the facts and all the details that seems jumbled now can fall into place. It seems to me that Mark Kleiman (aided by Kevin Drum) has the best take on how to connect the dots between DeLay's lapse in ethics to concrete damage to our national security.

Kevin Drum offers another good reason to move to expel DeLay right now. Kevin recalls correctly that DeLay was on Milosevich's side against Bill Clinton. He doesn't mention the extraordinary maneuver by which DeLay managed to send an encouraging message to the enemy while our men and women in uniform were in harm's way, by promising Clinton a resolution of support for the air war and then arranging for it to come to the floor and fail. (Of course, DeLay wasn't alone among Republicans, back then, in hating the President more than he hated the mass murderer the President was trying to rein in.)

And now we know, as Kevin points out, that DeLay was doing all of this as the beneficiary of largesse from the Russian security services. Taking an expensive vacation at the expense of the military of a foreign power to support America's enemies probably doesn't amount to treason under the Constitutional definition, but it comes close.

The debate on the motion to consider immediate expulsion should be well worth listening to: once Nancy Pelosi offers it, that is.

The boondoggle to Russia happened in 1997. Here' s the graphic showing the money trail. Two years later, DeLay was chief among the congressional Republicans who tried to undercut President Clinton's plan of action to take down Slobodan Milosevich, making 'blame America first' statements like "Clinton's bombing campaign has caused all of these problems to explode," referring to the ethnic cleansing carried out by Milosevich.

So was Tom DeLay swayed by his junket to Russia, or simple partisan blindness enough for him to side with a mass murderer over his president in a time of war?