September 28th, 2005


Tom DeLay is outta there...

The Republican Speaker of the House has been forced to step down in shame after being indicted on felony charges of conspiracy... and it looks like they've got him nailed, too.

DeLay, once again is facing accusations of gross corruption, is claiming that the accusations against him are a partisan witchhunt, but that just doesn't wash. District Attorney Ronnie Earle is a boy scout perhaps, but given the level of corruption in our government, we could use more boy scouts.

...and speaking of boy scouts, I applaud the enlightened decision of the Republican leadership to name gay U.S. Representative David Dreier as DeLay's replacement.

Dreier, who has been sharing the same residence for well over a decade with his Chief-of-Staff Brad Smith, and who was previously outed by a prominent gay Republican blogger, still hasn't publically admitted his homosexuality, but everyone in town apparently knows it anyway. Although he previously denied he was a homosexual while still a junior congresssman, when asked in a recent interview during the Republican National Convention whether he was a homosexual, Dreier, to his credit, refused to deny it.

While I'm sure many would wish that Dreier, as a gay-yet-closeted Republican, would take a less hypocritical stand on the issues, we can at least be proud that he is yet another gay male to rise to the heights of power in the Republican Party, even if he and the rest of the Republican Party aren't quite as proud of that fact as the rest of us are.

Well, that didn't take long.

What a surprise! Looks like Dreier is out(ed)... and Blunt is in.

As Time reports:
DeLay is acting as if this is a battle he can still win, declaring his intention to step aside only temporarily in order to exonerate himself. But the timing could hardly be worse for him. A very public rift between DeLay and fiscal hawks led by Indiana Rep. Mike Pence over how to finance Katrina reconstruction had left DeLay's erstwhile conservative base on the Hill angry and rebellious. . . House Speaker Dennis Hastert found out just how deep that unease ran when he attempted to name a temporary replacement, chairman of the Rules Committee and leadership player David Dreier. Party conservatives rebelled over Dreier's moderate positions on gay marriage, stem cells and other issues, forcing Hastert to roll out a compromise power sharing arrangement between Dreier and the GOP whip, Roy Blunt of Missouri.

Moderate positions? Dreier regularly voted against gay rights and has a has a 92 percent favorability rating from the Christian Coalition! Nope... the reason they axed him is that his Republican collegues think that he's gay and that the Christian conservatives, sexually-insecure hetero poseurs, and assorted bigots that make up a major portion of their political base would recoil in horror once the truth came out. Obviously, a gay House Majority Leader is going to bring down God's wrath, assuming he doesn't try to hit on us first.

(This cowardly behavior by the majority party for the House, btw, is called sexual discrimination, and is generally considered illegal in most any other workplace.)

What a shame that Dreier, who has worked so tirelessly to betray and dodge his own sexual orientation for the sake of his political career, has now hit the invisible glass ceiling. Some things are just not acceptable to the Republican powers that be, and one of them is apparently a closeted gay House Majority Leader.