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May 18, 2005
Dean: DeLay Worse Than Osama?

Howard Dean has a well-known problem of foot chewing, and he indulged himself again yesterday on his new favorite subject, Tom DeLay. Despite the lack of any criminal investigation into DeLay -- and the bogged-down ethics allegations that have now enveloped a host of Democrats along with the GOP House whip -- Dean just can't stop declaring DeLay guilty before even being indicted:

"There's corruption at the highest level of the Republican Party, and they're going to have to face up to that one of these days, because the law is closing in on Tom DeLay," Dean said in a telephone interview before heading to an appearance today in Phoenix.

"I think he's guilty . . . of taking trips paid for by lobbyists, and of campaign-finance violations during his manipulation of the Texas election process," Dean said.

The DNC chairman sang a completely different tune in the winter of 2003, when asked if he supported the death penalty for Osama bin Laden. As the Arizona Republic and Tom DeLay's office recalls, not only did Dean evade that question, he scolded people for assuming bin Laden's guilt before a jury reached a verdict (also noted here at CQ in December 2003):

"I've resisted pronouncing a sentence before guilt is found," Dean said during the 2004 Democratic primary campaign. "I still have this old-fashioned notion that even with people like Osama, who is very likely to be found guilty, we should do our best not to, in positions of executive power, not to prejudge jury trials."

So what the chair of the Democratic National Committee has pronounced is a dual standard of jurisprudence, one in which Republicans have less due process than Islamofascist terrorists that have declared war on America and murdered thousands of Americans. In the World According To Howard Dean, we must not presume the guilt of bin Laden for mass murder -- but Tom DeLay, as an eeeeevil Republican, deserves no presumption of innocence for campaign-finance and ethics violations.

How long will the Democrats allow this lunatic to represent them as the head of the party?

UPDATE: Ankle Biting Pundits say they were first with this comparison. Okay ... but I'm cuter. Oh, wait, dammit, I'm not.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 18, 2005 12:38 PM

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