"the hand you hold is the hand that holds you down"
GOP Ignores Lessons of Democrats' Past Mistakes - WashingtonPost.com: "GOP Ignores Lessons of Democrats' Past Mistakes
In response to the criminal charges he now faces, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) has offered up the time-honored defense of Washington politicians: My enemies are out to get me.
In a Capitol Hill news conference, DeLay lashed out, calling the Texas prosecutor who brought the felony charge against him an 'unabashed partisan zealot' and a 'fanatic.' DeLay's supporters echoed the theme. House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) -- the man who will fill in for DeLay -- said: 'Unfortunately, Tom DeLay's effectiveness as Majority Leader is the best explanation for what happened in Texas today.'
It didn't take long for DeLay's supporters to get the talking points. In a statement e-mailed to reporters hours after news of the indictment broke, the Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, leader of the Traditional Values Coalition, said DeLay was 'a Christian man' and accused prosecutor Ronnie Earle of exacting 'political retribution.'
Yet, The Washington Post's Jeffrey Smith reported last year that 'Earle, an elected Democrat who oversees the state's Public Integrity Unit, previously prosecuted four elected Republicans and 12 Democrats for corruption or election law violations.'
And the Associated Press reported last December that Earle had prosecuted some of the biggest Democratic names in the state, including, 'former Texas House Speaker Gib Lewis, former Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox, former State Treasurer Warren Harding and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Yarbrough.'
Buried under a sea of political scandal in the late 1980s and early 1990s, congressional Democrats often evoked the same defense. And it didn't work.