DeLay Loses Support of House Republicans

Tom DeLay's chances of recapturing his House leadership position dropped dramatically today when several Republicans in the House asked for new elections to be held promptly.

"It's clear that we need to elect a new majority leader to restore the trust and confidence of the American people," said Rep. Jim Ramstad of Minnesota, as two fellow Republicans circulated a petition calling for new elections.

Who's on tap?

Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri, who took over as majority leader temporarily when DeLay stepped aside following his indictment on state charges, is certain to run for the post if new elections are held. Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, a former member of the leadership, is his likeliest rival, and there may be other contenders as well.

Among the factors working against DeLay:

Abramoff's guilty pleas appears to have changed the political environment for Republicans 11 months before the midterm elections.

"The situation is that Tom's legal situation doesn't seem to be reaching clarity," Rep. John Kline of Minnesota said in an interview. "There are stories of more indictments or questions associated with Jack Abramoff. And I think that Tom DeLay is going to have to concentrate on that."

As Rep. Jeff Flake (AZ) puts it:

The developments with Abramoff have "brought home the fact that we need not just new leaders but a course correction," Flake said.

Look who else is losing his base: Ralph Reed. Reddhedd at Firedoglake provides her take.

If Ralph Reed and all his name recognition and evangelical letter writing buddies can't beat a no-name primary opponent in a red state like Georgia, what does that mean for everyone else who is linked to Jack Abramoff in more "purple" looking states?

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    Re: DeLay Loses Support of House Republicans (none / 0) (#1)
    by jimcee on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 09:18:36 PM EST
    It is a smart move on the part of the Republicans to be seen as distancing themselves from Abramoff, the sooner, the better. The lobbying scandal may turn out to be something that could help the Democrats more than anything. Public opinion about Congress is lower than Bush's right now. If the Democrats don't over-reach on other issues, namely national defense, this could be a good year for them. 11 months is a long time and time will tell.

    Re: DeLay Loses Support of House Republicans (none / 0) (#2)
    by Linkmeister on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 09:54:14 PM EST
    Blount is Delay-lite, so I've read. If that's the case, I'm sure our side will take note of it, loudly.

    Re: DeLay Loses Support of House Republicans (none / 0) (#3)
    by Johnny on Sat Jan 07, 2006 at 11:16:26 AM EST
    Well to pull a trick from the wrong-wingers bag of goodies... DeLay should just resign, now. Much like they believe Clinton should have just resigned (never mind the incessant whining which would have ensued with a real liberal as president), to preserve the "dignity" of "the office". Come on DeLay, walk away like the loser you are.