In the current issue of the New Yorker, Hendrik Hertzberg explains why Republican House Members are reluctant to see Tom DeLay go:
Republican members want to continue being led by the Texas bug exterminator turned hard-right Christianist crusader because they agree with him on the great political and religious issues of the day; because he is nice to them, feeding them pizza when they have to work late and finding places for the smokers among them to indulge without having to shiver on the Capitol steps; because they are terrified of him, on account of his well-deserved reputation for vengefulness; because he saved them from losing House seats in the 2004 election by persuading Texas to adopt a precedent-breaking mid-decade gerrymander that netted their party an overall gain of three seats; because he has raised millions for their campaigns, mostly from business interests that have reaped billions and expect to reap billions more from the policies he promotes; and because, using threats and inducements, he has insured that the choicest, highest-paying, most enviable lobbying jobs on Washington’s K Street corridor go overwhelmingly to Republicans in general and DeLay loyalists in particular.New Yorker
Hertzberg also explains why Democrats are not necessarily eager to see Tom go:
Self-righteous, humorless, resentful, scowling, perpetually angry, he has many of the irritating qualities of his former colleague Newt Gingrich without any of the latter’s childlike charms. (There are no DeLay equivalents of Gingrich’s boyish enthusiasms for dinosaurs, sci-fi fantasies, and big, shiny theories of History.) And then there are the scandals, which cling to the Majority Leader like flakes of dandruff.
All true, but the money quote is, “What is most odiferous about DeLay, however, is not his Tammany-like antics but his Torquemada-like ones.”
I understand the argument that DeLay is more harmful in power than out. But I operate on the principle that corruption must be punished. I don’t care if you are Tom DeLay or Dan Rostenkowski. If you are a cheat, if you defraud the American people, you need to go. Taking DeLay out will not end the movement he represents, but it will discredit it. I want to see Tom DeLay frog-marched off the Capitol steps and into a courtroom, where a judge can show him who is really in charge of dispensing justice in America.