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DeLay indicted: It couldn't happen to a nicer thug

The AP story in its entirety:

A Texas grand jury on Wednesday charged Rep. Tom DeLay and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, an indictment that could force him to step down as House majority leader. (AP)

I'm of two minds on this one:

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to watch Tom DéLay's pasty white body twist slowly, slowly in the wind until 2006, or whether it's better to start extracting the seamy details now...

Think he'll step down? Surely not when so much still remains to be lootedaccomplished!

Pass the popcorn!

UPDATE The CNN story:

The Texas grand jury has charged that corporate donations given to Texans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee -- formed by DeLay -- were used to support state candidates in violation of state law. Texas law prohibits corporate money to be used to advocate the election or defeat of candidates; it is allowed only for administrative expenses.

Once DeLay helped Republicans win control of the state Legislature in 2002, the majority leader engineered a Republican redistricting [gerrymandering] plan that helped give the state's U.S. House delegation a 21-11 majority in the current Congress. The effort helped Republicans increase their House margin by five seats this year.

As a sign of loyalty to DeLay after the grand jury returned indictments against three of his associates, House Republicans last November repealed a rule requiring any of their leaders to step aside if indicted. The rule was reinstituted in January after lawmakers returned to Washington from the holidays fearing the repeal might create a backlash from voters.

(CNN)

So, a few immediate questions:

1. Does this mean that Delay's gerrymandering is the fruit of the poisonous tree? Any way to get the Republicans to disgorge those five seats, or do the Republicans get to break all the rules and then keep what they stole?

2. What are the odds that the Republicans change the rules again or "discover" a loophole that lets DeLay hold onto power? I'd say it's even.

UPDATE Delay will step down:

According to the Associated Press, Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.,will recommend that Congressman David Dreier, R-Calif., will take over DeLay's duties.

Damn! So much for my prognosis. The stench must be really, really had, if Hastert noticed it.

UPDATE And Delay's charged with a felony. Well, lots of marriages only last two years...

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