When you're a Conservative Republican politician, and the Houston Chronicle endorses your Democratic opponent, you know you've pissed some people off. Tom DeLay's brand of slash-and-burn politics may finally be wearing thin. I've said for years that DeLay is a power-hungry, self-absorbed, intolerant, xenophobe- but I'm a Liberal. What do I know??
Thanks to DeLay, Houston is the only U.S. city forbidden to receive federal funds for rail transit. What would have been Houston's share went to Dallas and other cities, forcing Houston-area taxpayers to pay their own way.
While DeLay's opposition once stemmed from a loyalty to highway contractors who gave generously to his campaign, DeLay now seems to block rail for the sheer pleasure of punishing Houstonians.
The Chronicle's opposition to DeLay goes far beyond rail transit. DeLay also opposed President Bush's efforts to give every American child a decent education and leave no child behind. He has spoken disparagingly of distinguished research universities in Texas because they teach science that confounds his unyielding theology.
DeLay says that he wishes the U.S. government to embrace and promote a single religion above all others, and that government policy should reflect the beliefs of a single sect. The congressman finds irksome secular democracy of the type envisioned by the Founders.
While DeLay says he wants Houstonians to breathe clean air, he has relentlessly worked to excuse industries from any requirement that they limit the poison they put in the air. In public he pretends to support clean-air efforts, but works the back channels of the Capitol to thwart them.
DeLay says one thing to the general public and something else to religious groups who share his views. He rages if anyone points out the contradiction and hypocrisy.
Tom DeLay, who will become House majority leader and puppetmaster if Republicans retain control of the House, is obsessed with winning partisan advantage and husbanding personal power. His machinations make him incapable of working with opponents for the common good and subjugate the interests of Houston-area residents to his unbridled ambition.
The Chronicle urges Republicans and Democrats of the 22nd Congressional District to vote for Tim Riley on Nov. 5 and let DeLay know he is on the wrong track.
The late Lee Atwater was one of the architects of the attack-dog, take-no-prisoners New Republican philosophy that was perfected by DeLay and Newt Gingrich. Atwater eventually realized the error of his ways, and Gingrich wore out his welcome. Sadly, DeLay continues to practice his politics of alienation and demonization. It's a sad, tired act that needs to come to an end. If politics really is to be the art of the possible, Texas' 22nd Congressional District needs new representation.