The Justice Department has informed former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) that the government has ended a six-year investigation of his ties to the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, according to DeLay’s lead counsel in the matter, Richard Cullen, chairman of McGuireWoods.
The investigation lasted through two presidents and four attorneys general. Its demise provides a stark footnote to the lobbying scandals that helped Democrats regain the House majority they held for 40 years and lost in the Republican revolution of 1994, which eventually made the pugnacious DeLay one of Washington’s top power brokers.
So yeah, there’s a lesson to be had. But it wasn’t that DeLay was a crook. The Obama Justice Department settled that today.
Ed Morrissey has hit the nail on the head about what lessons the politicians in Washington must learn:
Nonetheless, the travails of DeLay and the GOP in 2006 should serve as a “stark” lesson for Republicans in the midterms. DeLay authored the notorious “K Street Project” that attempted to build a permanent Republican majority by marrying the party to lobbyists. That resulted in an explosion of pork and a curious predilection with so-called “big government conservatism” that exploded spending after George W. Bush took office. That marriage of the federal government and special interests discredited the GOP as an alternative to Democrats, which combined with the scandal led to their downfall in 2006 and 2008.
No more K Street Projects, and no more big-government conservatism. The next Republican majority had better focus on actual reductions in federal government and the end of pork-barrel spending to woo lobbyists.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY (from Dan): You know the more I think about it, the bigger I think the issue is. First, I’m no fan of Tom DeLay, indeed, have dated the decline of the GOP to a few weeks after its 1994 moment of triumph when House Republicans elected DeLay over the principled Bob Walker to be House Majority Whip.
That said, DeLay may have been a zealous pol, eager to put partisan fundraising ahead of enacting reform, he wasn’t a crook. Democrats made much (and gained traction in legislative races) with the assistance of an eager-to-assist media of his supposedly illegal activity. Yet, indicted though he may have been in Texas (by a partisan prosecutor with an axe to grind), he has still not yet been brought to trial.
Just another piece of evidence of how with the support of a helpful media, Democrats use the legal system to bring down Republicans. You don’t even need a trial, just an indictment and a few insinuations hither, thither and yon.