The atmosphere in at least some parts of Sugar Land is downright "giddy" if not a substitute for Mardi Gras:
My prediction is that Tom will continue in his present life-calling and become a teevee evangelist. It's just like being a Congressman: the hours are good, you can have girlfriends on the side as long as you don't get caught, you can get stoopid people to give you lotsa money, it helps if your wife cries a lot and can make "Jesus" a three-syllable word, and you get to wear fancy clothes. He'll hardly know the difference.The GOP has beheld the vacuum and it sucks! Most Texas GOPPERS fed at the trough; most benefited from crookery; most got on board the gravy train. DeLay's fall is a product of a polarized House of Representatives, a growing culture of corruption throughout Washington, and Bush's own falling star.
--Juanita's, Sugar Land, TX Web Site
While Democrats might have looked forward to having DeLay to paint with "culture of corruption" charges, the GOP loses the most "effective" partisan in the GOP arsenal. It was back in the early 80's as a State Representative that DeLay began building a GOP majority that he hoped would last for decades, if not a thousand years. A 20 year Reich? Here's the PC version on Tom DeLay's own web site:
During a Fort Bend County Republican Committee meeting in 1978, a party official suggested that DeLay run for an open Texas State House seat that had never before elected a Republican. Excited by the prospect of lowering taxes and excess regulations, DeLay rolled up his sleeves and impressed enough voters to win the election. After serving in Austin for six years, he succeeded in becoming the first Republican Fort Bend County ever elected to the United States Congress.DeLay mastered the art of diluting the Democratic voting strength in Houston area minority districts. Pioneering computer-aided gerrymandering, DeLay's GOP created strange looking districts --narrow, weirdly-shaped, artificial.
Before his announcement, it was reported that DeLay had raised $1.3 million for his campaign. DeLay would have faced a former victim of DeLay-mandering: former Rep. Nick Lampson, a Democrat, who lost his seat in 2004.
DeLay's troubles may have just begun. He still faces an indictment in Texas money laundering charges and other allegations of campaign law violations. Former DeLay aides, Tony Rudy and Michael Scanlon, have already pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges. Ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, meanwhile, is cooperating with federal investigators even as a corruption investigation continues to widen on Capitol Hill.
Thoughtful bloggers have asked the question: "In the wake of DeLay's departure, will the GOP become more introspective about the "...course of the Republican revolution"?