But further, the public (namely those who reside in DeLay’s district) should consider the character assailing by DeLay’s foes suspect. Sen. Rick Santorum (R–PA) said yesterday on ABC’s This Week:
"Now you may not like some of the things he's done," said Santorum, who is up for re-election next year in Pennsylvania. "That's for the people of his district to decide, whether they want to approve that kind of behavior or not."Two years ago Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) was forced into stepping down as Senate Majority Leader by way of the same tactics. When ambiguous racial comments were made by Lott regarding the late Sen. Strom Thurmond’s bid for the presidency, Lott was immersed into a firestorm that ended in his resignation from Senate leadership.
The GOP should not permit such sophomoric tactics on a second go-around. This formula appears to go as such: Take an allegation to which there is little or weak evidence of, blow it out of proportion, get the liberal media to back your efforts, and force a leader to step down.
My addendum to that formula would be: Continue to lose elections.
Cheap shots like that don’t work. While the opposition may succeed in waging a successful smear campaign, such tactics are not a majority-winning game plan.
Instead, the Democrats should follow the advice of their leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA, 8th) and focus on issues concerning the business of the government. Pelosi said in an AP article last week that the controversy was distracting DeLay from dealing with more-pressing problems.
However, it would behoove DeLay to hold a press conference and be up front about his travel practices to diffuse the situation.It’s political common-sense to do so. When a high-profile politician hides from potentially damaging allegations, he will only be caught looking by the backspin.
Until then, political foes should back off and concentrate on issues with substance.