An update on: Will the machinery that DeLay & his pastor (& former Chief of Staff) built derail DeLay? I'm not changing my "yes" opinion.
"Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott's fall from his position of power in the U.S. Senate was rather rapid; Rep. DeLay's will not be as rapid, but I predict that his days as House Majority Leader are numbered.
"Power has its limits, as evidenced by the fall of former Speaker Newt Gingrich who reaped what he had sown with Rep. Wright. It's the American and not the Machiavellian way."
A post done the next day captioned "The New York Times has a different take on Rep. Tom DeLay than Sid -- Nov. 2 more crucial than serious ethics violations to his job security," began:
"Today's N.Y. Times doesn't foresee DeLay's downfall as being inevitable as I more or less said in a post I did yesterday entitled 'The ethics charges against House Majority Leader Tom DeLay -- The charges are serious. They go way beyond being partisan.'
"The article notes that DeLay could have difficulty retaining his leadership job if his party loses seats in next month's elections."
We know that did not happen on Nov. 2. However, based on the following TIME article, I am sticking with my earlier prediction that I made pre-Nov. 2.
DeLay And Company
The G.O.P. leader's troubles mount, with new questions about his dealings with the former aide who helped build his political machine
By Karen Tumulty
March 13, 2005
Ed Buckham's name was one you didn't hear much outside the secluded corridor where he worked on the first floor of the Capitol. But in that suite, which houses the majority whip's offices, Buckham was far more than an ordinary congressional aide in the three heady years following the Republican takeover of the House in 1994. Thanks to an unusually close and trusting relationship with his boss, Tom DeLay's chief of staff quietly became one of the most powerful people in Washington. "He was the guy DeLay turned to when he made a final decision," recalls a former aide to a member of the House Republican leadership, "and even after he made the final decision, the guy who could talk him out of it." What even fewer people outside that office knew was that the two shared a bond that transcended power and politics: Buckham, a licensed nondenominational minister, was also DeLay's pastor. For a while, in DeLay's early days as whip, they organized daily voluntary prayer sessions for the staff—until it began making some aides uncomfortable. After that, according to two sources who worked in the office at the time, the two of them frequently prayed together privately, joining hands in DeLay's office.
Buckham shared not only DeLay's religious faith but also his audacious vision for harnessing the financial and political clout of business and conservative interests to carry out the G.O.P. agenda and increase its majority in Congress. DeLay offered lobbyists the best seats they had ever had at the table, a say in legislative and political strategy, on the understanding that they in return would pour millions into DeLay's favored causes and candidates. In addition, he threatened to shut out lobbying shops that employed Democrats. In Washington that seamless coordination between his office and the lobbying corridor of K Street has become known as DeLay Inc. It developed the muscle to push or block pretty much everything DeLay asked for, from protecting tax breaks for low-wage garment manufacturers on the Northern Mariana Islands (where DeLay spent New Year's Day 1998 with his wife and Buckham) to creating a Medicare prescription-drug plan that critics say is a better deal for pharmaceutical companies than it is for seniors.
Now the machinery that DeLay and his pastor built threatens to derail DeLay. He was slapped three times last year by the House ethics committee for violations of House rules, and finds himself potentially facing more serious trouble on multiple fronts. Each day seems to bring another embarrassing headline and more lawmakers' being caught up in allegations of impropriety that surround the lobbyists—many, like Buckham, former DeLay staff members—who have traded on their access to him. The Washington Post reported last week that DeLay (as well as six other Representatives from both parties and several congressional aides) had over the past four years accepted trips to South Korea, paid for by a registered foreign agent—a violation of House rules.
As it happens, the foreign agent in question—a group called the Korea- U.S. Exchange Council, funded largely by the Korean holding company Hanwha Group—lists its address as the same waterfront Georgetown office suite as Buckham's lobbying business. . . . The lawmakers named by the Post, including DeLay, say they were not aware that the group was a foreign agent. Indeed, it didn't register as one until three days before DeLay left for his trip to South Korea in August 2001.
Where the controversy goes from here is difficult to say. DeLay's increasingly precarious situation has paralyzed the House ethics committee. Democrats on the committee, one of the few in Congress in which they have as many votes as Republicans do, have shut it down.
The Democrats refuse to accept a new rule that would prevent the committee from launching any investigation without the support of at least one Republican—a restriction designed to protect the majority leader. The strain is showing on DeLay, who was treated in a hospital last week for fatigue and an irregular heartbeat. And for the first time, a significant number of Republicans have begun to question DeLay's political survival. Frets a senior G.O.P. Congressman about the odor surrounding DeLay: "It just isn't going away."
DeLay has been neither apologetic nor subtle about his coziness with the corporate and ideological groups that have business before Congress. "It's in their interest to keep a Republican majority, and it's a way to keep a Republican majority and get our job done," he told the Washington Post in 1999. "It's sort of, 'Scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours.'" DeLay was so effective at getting his way that he became known as "the Hammer," and as he rose a notch in ranks to majority leader, the question everyone asked was not whether but when he would achieve his dream of becoming Speaker of the House.
Speaker Newt Gingrich['s] office never completely trusted DeLay's [office].
For most Republicans, the occasional controversy used to seem a small price to pay for the prodigious amounts that DeLay was raising and contributing to their campaigns. Had it not been for the six additional seats that Texas picked up in the House last year, thanks to a redistricting plan engineered by DeLay, George W. Bush would not have been the first re-elected President since F.D.R. to gain seats in Congress. And DeLay has always been solicitous of G.O.P.
But much of the goodwill toward DeLay has begun to evaporate over the past year, as controversies have piled up like bricks in a wall around him.
[After reviewing the various ongoing scandals, TIME continues}
So, will DeLay survive?
After the debacle over the ethics rules, more than a few House members say they can ill afford to put their necks out much farther for DeLay. And their support could erode further—and quickly—if they start hearing complaints about DeLay from their constituents at home.
A more ominous sign for DeLay: those who might succeed him have begun quietly positioning themselves to make a move if the opportunity arises, sources say. Among the possible successors most frequently mentioned are majority whip Roy Blount of Missouri, National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Tom Reynolds of New York, House Education Committee chairman John Boehner and leadership chairman Rob Portman of Ohio. Not so long ago, it looked as though the speakership would be DeLay's for the taking after Hastert left the post, probably after the next election. But if DeLay is doing any praying in his office these days, it's probably to hold on to the job he has.