... DeLay was a zealot willing to blur the line in pursuit of what he thought to be a good cause, not someone using his office to seek financial gain. There were no personal slush funds, no house remodeled by a lobbyist, no unreported vacation home. He was only trying to build our party.In this sense, Campbell argues DeLay is not a "bad man," but merely a reflection of "our country's politics over the past 20 years." Campbell also argues DeLay has been "punished enough," having "lost his place on the national stage" (the horror!) And so, President Obama should pardon DeLay - for a conviction in a state court? See full Post editorial here.
The current issue of National Review doesn't call for DeLay's pardon, but actually makes a better case for such action than Campbell. NR notes DeLay was engaged in "a routine act of political fundraising" and all of the contributions involved were legal. But a "spot-light hungry" prosecutor with "documentary film crew in tow" went through a series of grand juries until he found one willing to believe there was a case against him. The prosecutor then "indicted a number of companies [that] had made perfelty legal contributions to DeLay's PAC, and then sold those companies dismissals in exchange for donations to one of his favorite charities." Says NR:
Tom Delay played brass-knuckesl politics, but that does not mean he belongs in prison