From the New York Times:
Representative Tom DeLay, the relentless Texan who helped lead House Republicans to power but became ensnared in a corruption scandal, has decided to leave Congress, House officials said Monday night.
Mr. DeLay, who abandoned his efforts to hold onto his position as majority leader earlier this year after the indictment of the lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a former ally, was seeking re-election as vindication. But he told selected colleagues that, facing the possibility of defeat, he had decided not to try to hold on to his House seat.
“He just decided that the numbers and the whole political climate were against him and that it was time to step aside,” said one Congressional official with knowledge of Mr. DeLay’s plans. The official did not want to be identified because Mr. DeLay’s formal announcement was scheduled for Tuesday in Houston.
Let me guess. During his formal statement, he will:
Blame the liberal media and the Democrats for hounding him mercilessly. (It’s true. The liberals and the Democrats have such a stranglehold on the media and the government that turning all three branches of government over to the Republicans was just a nefarious plot to lure the GOP into committing acts of bribery and corruption so that we can bust them. BWAHAHAHA.) Affirm that he did nothing wrong and that he is the victim of a witch hunt by a partisan prosecutor, Ronnie Earle. (Nothing Mr. DeLay does is his fault. He is a martyr to the cause and he’s getting a custom-fit crown of thorns just in time for Easter.) Assure his allies and minions that he will continue to speak out for right-wing nutsery causes. (The baby-killers and the queers are on notice: he’s joining up with Newt Gingrich, Bill Bennett, and Rush Limbaugh to speak out for everything that is Good and Pure because he is a stellar example of the kind of Morality, Honor, and Dignity that the Republicans campaigned for by speaking out against adulterers, gamblers and illegal drug users.)
I’m sorry to see him go — he was a great campaign poster for the Democrats — but I’m sure we’ll find plenty more just like him.
Update: Credit where credit is due: Time magazine’s Mike Allen broke the story and has it here.