It's been heartening the past few days to hear a few Republicans finally voicing public criticism of Rep. Tom DeLay. More should join the chorus. It's time for Republicans to renounce his leadership and choose a more principled and temperate representative as House Majority Leader.Tom Osborne, Lee Terry, and Jeff Fortenberry have been almost unheard from on the matter of DeLay's numerous legal and ethical violations of the public trust, leaving their silence that much more conspicuous and unforgiveable with each passing day.
For the past few years GOP members in Congress seem to have been intimidated by the ruthless tactics of the man they call "The Hammer" or overly solicitous of the political infighter they believe can claim much credit for the party's political gains. Finally, however, matters seem to have reached a tipping point....
Over the years, DeLay has been criticized three times by the House Ethics Committee. His usual response has been to brush the criticism off as partisan politics led by enemies in the Democratic Party.
Recently, however, DeLay has come under fire for lavish junkets paid for by people for whom DeLay is in position to bestow favors. In 2000, for example, DeLay and other House members and their staffers took a $70,000 trip to the United Kingdom allegedly paid for with funding arranged by lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Adding more tarnish to DeLay's reputation were reports last week that his wife and daughter had been paid almost $500,000 by his political action committee....
The most imperative reason the Republicans in Congress should renounce DeLay's leadership is not that he is guilty of political miscues, however. It's that his lack of respect for principles and ethics is showing. The Republicans can do much better.
Has this "Timid Trio" forgotten that they work for us, the voters, and that they have a responsibility to put this country's well-being before the dictates of the Republican Party hierarchy. Nebraska deserves so much better - we deserve voices of independence and integrity - it's time our elected representatives realize who's really their boss regardless of the "R" by their name on the ballot.
Osborne, Terry, and Fortenberry - the Timid Trio - someone has to send them a message, be it on the phones or at the polls. They won't wake up until we do.