Rep. Tom DeLay, the defiant face of a conservative revolution in Congress, stepped down as House majority leader on Saturday under pressure from Republicans staggered by an election-year corruption scandal.Ah, politics.
"During my time in Congress, I have always acted in an ethical manner within the rules of our body and the laws of our land," the Texas lawmaker told fellow Republicans in a letter informing them of his decision.
Still, referring to criminal charges he faces in his home state, he added, "I cannot allow our adversaries to divide and distract our attention."
Democrats, eager to take control of the House in November, reacted to DeLay's announcement with studied indifference.
"The culture of corruption is so pervasive in the Republican conference that a single person stepping down is not nearly enough to clean up the Republican Congress," said Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader.
Added Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the House Democratic campaign organization: "With the permanence of their special interest philosophy, a change in the Republican cast of characters simply doesn't matter."
[O]thers suddenly calling for change were more moderate Republicans who could face difficult re-election campaigns this fall.
New Mexico's Heather Wilson was among them.
She said three of DeLay's "former senior staff members have admitted or have been implicated in corrupt and illegal activities to get money for themselves by influencing legislation. Whether or not Mr. DeLay was involved himself or knew this was going on, he is responsible for his office."
Latter fifties, married, out of work (had knee surgery and haven't gotten back to work); my (step) son-in-law is back from Iraq, but a lot of boys are still over there. Support our troops -- throw the Republicans out!
Cost of the War in Iraq to Date
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