Howard Dean, national chairman of the Democratic Party, said Tuesday that he thinks House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has committed crimes that could put the Republican in jail.
..."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.
But as DeLay's staffer pointed out, Dean took a different tack when the subject was Osama Bin Laden:
Dan Allen, a spokesman for DeLay, pointed to Dean's comments about due process for bin Laden.
"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."
Fill in the demagogic attack ad here. And when it happens, Dean has no one to blame but himself. Refusing to prejudge Osama bin Laden but calling Tom DeLay a criminal is ridiculous.