Thursday, July 06, 2006

DeLay stays on the ballot

I wrote earlier -- and disapprovingly -- about a suit filed by Texas Democrats to keep Tom DeLay's name on the ballot.

Well, get this: they won.

The Texas Republican Party must keep Tom DeLay's name on the November election ballot, even though the former congressman has dropped his re-election bid, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

DeLay, the former House majority leader who resigned from office June 9, won the Republican primary for his district in March but decided against re-election a month later.

If that decision stands -- and a Republican appeal is almost a certainty -- it would all-but-guarantee that Democrat Nick Lampson will take over DeLay's seat come November.

The reason DeLay resigned when he did was so he could help handpick his successor -- without having to go through that messy piece of intraparty democracy known as a primary. So on one level the Dems have merely foiled one last shady maneuver by the Hammer.

But the extended legal dispute also keeps the GOP from naming a replacement, thus delaying their ability to start campaigning and raising funds. So it's a strategic move by the Dems as well.

One could argue that this is simply DeLay reaping what he sowed: an emphasis on hardball partisanship, regardless of the cost to the nation. It might be considered poetic justice for him to be beaten into the ground with his own favorite weapon.

But that's what everyone disliked about DeLay; Democrats do themselves no favors by emulating him. They need to rise above it and show that they really are different, and that they really do repudiate DeLay and everything he stands for.

So I stand by my earlier position: The Dems should drop the suit and let the Reps name whatever replacement they want. Democracy is not served when a contest is essentially reduced to a one-party race because of legal technicalities. Sugarland voters deserve a choice in November.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your principles are admirable. However, Democrats need this win. The results will be a substantial public relations and morale coup for Democrats. And, it's for the greater good. The country needs a real change in leadership. I say do what it takes to win. Use the Republicans' sword against them.

7/06/2006 3:19 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Democrats may need the win, and I've argued before that the GOP deserves to lose, and lose big, in November. But that doesn't justify emulating DeLay. If the Dems become like DeLay, how will that be a "real change in leadership?"

Win honest, or don't win.

7/06/2006 3:37 PM  
Blogger JP said...

It will remind people of the DeLay version of politics--win at any cost--until election day. Republicans can't sweep this one under the rug. Maybe that'll convince some people to "change horses." I'm not bothered by this.

7/07/2006 5:50 AM  

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