Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The End of Power Trippin'

The primary focus of Congressman Delay's defense shouldn't dwell on the obvious partisan game play between Democrats and Republicans. It's expected that each party will continue to throw political salvos at one another well into 2006, creating a stage for much political drama and plenty of room for scurrilous accusations which have little relevance to the bread and butter issues most prominent on the minds of Americans.

Our worry is that while Republicans battle internally for displaced power and Democrats engage in perpetual happy hour, there will be a lack of discussion on addressing the true culprit in American political culture. It's not really about Delay. It's about a growing cynicism within the American electorate that political corruption, favors and deal-making are pervasive at the expense of the public good. There are even Republicans in Congress who are privately breathing slightly easier, hoping they can vote their conscience rather than vote the party line Delay built with such gangsta zeal. Ideological arrogance and the hard-lining tactics of "my way or the highway" mixed in with unscrupulous hyper-spending habits on both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue will resume unabated as the parties (particularly the majority) are more concerned about their talking points than a clear solution to mounting budgetary and war-time problems.

The point being that Delay didn't work alone. He had buy-in.

There is much speculation as to how both party's will react to the latest round of Washington scandals, from Delay to Sen. Majority Leader Frist's stock sell-off, from Jack Abramoff to the nasty outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. But, this discussion seems far removed from the peoples' disposition. Democrats could seize that moment with an agenda but, frankly, seem more pressed to gloat. And Republicans may have the chance to impose restraint on a White House spinning into budgetary oblivion, but seem too concerned with the internal power struggle unfolding. We hope that the voting public is smarter than that.