Tom DeLay: a record-setting spinner

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The gold medal for political spinner of 2006 has already been retired. And the winner is: former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, the soon-to-be-retired Hammer of the House.

Only the brazen DeLay could announce his resignation and tie it to God's will. Sorry, Tom, God may act in strange ways, but it is difficult to imagine him sending signals to an indicted, under-investigation politician with your record.

DeLay is quitting because he knows he's spoiled goods and his time has run out. His top aides in the past are falling fast and headed for prison in their dealings with Jack Abramoff, the disgraced lobbyist with thick GOP ties. Jack prided himself on being a pal of yours.

It is one thing to try to leave Congress with your head high or even use that lame excuse that you want to spend more time with your family. But DeLay is departing with his usual arrogance and defiance.

He has blamed his downfall on a runaway state prosecutor in Austin, "liberal" Democrats, and, of course, the press. He has even accused Democrats of "criminalizing politics." Can anyone resist laughing at the latter charge?

Note that DeLay never mentions his own seamy conduct as the source of his troubles. Maybe God would like to hear a little contrition from him.

DeLay says his future mission in life will be directed by the Almighty. His work with children, along with that of his wife, is to be commended. But he has not rejected a return as a lobbyist. No surprise there with millions of dollars available in the capital city.

DeLay's frequent mention of his dedication to God is unusual in a government founded on a separation of church and state. He says his opponents are "enemies of virtue." Really.

Tom DeLay should take a long look in the mirror and accept responsibility for his actions, including his role in carving up Texas congressional districts long before the 2010 census so he could settle scores with Texas Democrats.

He stopped drinking and playing too much golf in the past, he claims, because he heard the Good Word. But he has much to atone for, given his relentless and swift rise to power and his deportment during that time.

The House will be a better place without him.