Friday, June 13, 2003
Demonizing DeLay: The latest offering from New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is entitled "Some Crazy Guy." It should surprise no one that Krugman finds sins in a Republican where he would excuse a Democrat.
Maybe Mr. DeLay's public profile will be raised by his success yesterday in sabotaging tax credits for 12 million children. Those tax credits would cost only $3.5 billion. But Mr. DeLay has embedded the credits in an $82 billion tax cut package. That is, he wants to extort $22 in tax cuts (in the face of record budget deficits) for every dollar given to poor children.
DeLay has "sabotaged" the tax credits by, among other things further easing the marriage penalty. Krugman is right to use the phrase "given to poor children." Extending an income tax credit to someone who doesn't pay income taxes is welfare, nothing more.
But the really important stories about Mr. DeLay, a central figure in the impeachment of Bill Clinton, involve his continuing drive to give his party a permanent lock on power.
Consider the case of Westar Energy, whose chief executive was indicted for fraud. The subsequent investigation turned up e-mail in which executives described being solicited by Republican politicians for donations to groups linked to Mr. DeLay, in return for a legislative "seat at the table." The provision Westar wanted was duly inserted into an energy bill. (Republican leaders deny that there was any quid pro quo.)
Oh my gosh, a Republican wants to give his party a permanent lock on power! The horror! The horror!
Lessee, was Krugman likewise outraged by former President Clinton's pardon of fugitive financier Marc Rich after his ex-wife had donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to his presidential library? (Clinton has denied there was any quid pro quo.) A search would seem to suggest not.
Then there's the Texas redistricting story.
Normally states redraw Congressional districts once a decade: Texas redistricted after the 2000 census. But under Mr. DeLay's leadership, Texas Republicans are trying to increase their advantage in seats with a second redistricting. This in itself is an unprecedented power grab.
Here Krugman displays his ignorance (or willful misrepresentation). Texas was redistricted by a court after the Democrats managed to halt a redistricting plan in 2000. Texas was allotted an additional three seats -- all of which were made GOP seats -- leaving the Democrats with a 17-15 advantage in the Congressional delegation.
This in a state where every statewide office is held by Republicans.
This in a state where Republicans hold large majorities in both houses of the state legislature.
Let's compare the Texas situation to California, where the inverse is true. In California, the Democrats hold a large majority in both houses of the state legislature and every statewide office.
What does California's delegation look like? 33 Democrats and 20 Republicans.
In 1990, Texas Rep. Martin Frost, a Democrat, did the exact same thing that Krugman takes DeLay to task for doing in 2003.
The rest of Krugman's column is little more than name-calling designed to rile likeminded leftists.
Why this reactionary drivel continues to be published in the Times I know not. It would seem better suited to democraticunderground.com.