The right-wing spin is that John Boehner (R-OH), Tom DeLay’s replacement as Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, represents a “clean break” from DeLay. The reality is that Boehner is as tightly connected to K Street lobbyists as any member of Congress. He has handed out tobacco industry checks on the House floor and has been wined and dined by special interests at the world’s most luxurious resorts and golf courses.
In case there was any doubt about where Boehner’s loyalties lie, he cleared it up this morning on Meet the Press. Boehner said that if DeLay is cleared of the criminal charges against him, Boehner would consider stepping aside and letting Delay assume his old role:
RUSSERT: If he [DeLay] is acquitted and chooses to come back to Washington and wants to become Majority Leader again, would you step aside?
BOEHNER: I’m sure we would talk about it. Tom and I have a different approach.
RUSSERT: You would talk about it?
BOEHNER: Tom and I have a different approaches. But I think what’s going on in Texas with tom DeLay is unfortunate, unfair, and highly partisan. And that’s why I gave him that money out of my PAC to help him pay for his tremendous legal fees.
RUSSERT: But if he’s acquitted and decided to come back to Washington and reclaim the Majority Leader position, you would consider it?
BOEHNER: He stepped down as Majority Leader. He vacated his seat. We had an election and I won. But I like Tom Delay. He’s been a great leader for our party. He’s a friend of mine. And we’re going to continue to work closely together.
RUSSERT: But you would step aside for him?
BOEHNER: I said we would talk about it.
Meet the new boss. Placeholder for the old boss.
UPDATE: Watch the video at Crooks & Liars.