Tuesday, October 18, 2005

DeLay Dropped the Gauntlet

Ronnie Earle reportedly offered Tom DeLay an opportunity to plead to a misdemeanor crime rather than be the target of a grand jury inquiry, reports the Washington Post.

This is huge.

Accepting the plea deal would mean that DeLay could remain House Majority Leader, and escape any significant consequence for any of the acts alleged. But rather than take an easy hit, he exposed himself to a very serious charge that would likey carry prison time. People don't do these kinds of things unless they are certain they are clean. And the fact that Earle will not comment on any of these developments indicates that he may now be on the defensive, aware that the rest of us are not fooled by this indictment or the means used to get it.

I have my own criticisms of DeLay's fundraising tactics, as some are the kinds of things that give political fundraising the bad stench of which it has reeked for almost a century. But indicting him to make a political point for acts that do not constitute crimes is in itself criminal. This may be Ronnie Earle's last stand. As it should be for a state official who uses his law enforcement power to ply his enemies.


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