By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
By Alison Flowers
By Albert Samaha
By Jesse Jarnow
By Eric Tsetsi
By Raillan Brooks
Recently indicted House majority leader Tom DeLay isn't slated to go on trial in Texas until October 21, and who knows what a jury will decide. No matter. DeLay's being charged on one count of criminal conspiracy to violate state fundraising lawsalong with lots of other recent troubles for the GOPhas lifted Democrats, and Republican critics of the Bush administration, out of the political depression that has befallen them since the 2004 presidential elections. "The Delay indictment leads me to believe that the goddess justice may still be alive," e-mails one veteran Hill staffer, a Democrat.
Here's a roundup of reactions:
"MEGA CHEERS to the fall of Tom Delay. I will never, EVER, get a buzz like the one I got when I read the news of his indictment," blogged Daily Kos contributor Bill in Portland, Maine. "I tasted colors. I heard flavors. I saw sounds. I floated. And I don't remember this part, but there's a $500 fine on my dining room table for "...riding a burro naked down Forest Avenue while yelling `Take that, beeotch!' It's weird because normally I don't say anything during my commute."
The really big picture is that all sort of chickens are now coming home to roost for the GOP. You can hear them clucking all over Washington: in the White House, where the FBI investigation of Jack Abramoff is now penetrating the previously impermeable heart of Bush Era politics and policy; in the conservative commentariat, which is now torn between defending the Republican establishment and accusing it of betraying its principles; and in Congress, where DeLay's troubles are creating a power vaccum among GOPers for whom power has been the only unifying principle.
More and more, the Bush Era is beginning to resemble the Harding Era, without the humanizing features of sex and liquor.
"Has Bush Lost Congress?" asked Washington Post White House briefing blogger Dan Froomkin. "His second-term agenda is in shambles. His spending plan for Hurricane Katrina has torn his party apart. Support for his increasingly unpopular war is eroding. His political capital is spent. And now he's lost his Hammer."
"The Republicans are crumbling," the top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi cheered at a news conference Thursday. "They are corrupt. They act in a corrupt way. They have a culture of corruption here. It is about cronyism. It is about favoritism to their friends in contracting, cronyism in hiring, it is about incompetence.
"And that," Pelosi said, "is from here to the White House."
Marshall Wittmann, a former Christian Coalition strategist and John McCain advisor now a fellow at the Democratic Leadership Council, blogged under his handle Bull Moose writes of "the Gathering Storm":
Although he is not predicting it, the Moose suggests that the Democrats could possibly win back control over the House of Representatives and maybe even the Senate in the 2006 elections. Each day, as yesterday revealed, the Congressional Republicans more and more resemble the House Democrats of a decade agoan entrenched crony establishment out of touch with the country and even their own principles. The popularity numbers of the Congressional GOP are in the tank. Democrats have a significant lead in most generic Congressional match-ups with the Republicans."