World Summary

CHUCKAQUIDDICK

Sen. Chuck Schumer has a lot to answer for: Staffers answering to him abused Maryland Lt. Gov Michael Steele's Social Security number to get ahold of his credit report. Their intent was to dig up dirt on Steele as he runs for the Senate next year. As a black Republican with high name rec and real gravitas, Steele is apparently a threat the Democrats just could not face fairly. So they resorted to criminal invasion of privacy.

Once the story came to light, rather than fire the staffers outright, they were put on two months' paid leave and have since resigned. The MSM is nowhere to be found on this story. Once again it will be up to bloggers on the right (the leftwing bloggers are in the tall grass on this one) to keep up the heat.

On a related note, the MSM is also nowhere to be found on a good news story coming out of Maryland. When Steele and Gov. Bob Ehrlich became the first Republican administration in Maryland in a couple of generations back in 2002, they inherited a massive budget deficit between $500 million and $1 billion from their Democrat predecessor. Today, after a single GOP term Maryland has a $1.7 billion surplus. The healthy Bush economy has had quite a lot to do with Maryland's turnaround, but equally important has been the Ehrlich/Steele administration's fiscal discipline.

Meanwhile, Gov. Ehrlich's chief rival in next year's election will be Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, a Democrat whose chief accomplishment is to be young a boyish while driving the Baltimore PD into the toilet and presiding over a school system that just POOF lost $50 million a couple of years ago.

The election should come down to competence: The Republicans under Ehrlich have it, and the Democrats exemplified by O'Malley don't.

TARGETING DELAY

NRO says the charges against DeLay should be thrown out. They are entirely right.

Republicans who have been quick to throw DeLay to the Democrats should note, the indictment against him is weak, the evidence against him is nonexistent, and he maintains his innocence. His accuser is a known partisan with a track record of abusing his powers. If we allow the Democrats to force us to jettison DeLay on the basis of this case, we are setting up a big trap for ourselves. In the same way that throwing Michael Brown under all those flooded New Orleans buses didn't blunt the Dems' unfair criticism of Bush's response to Katrina, tossing out DeLay won't stop the Democrats from going after other elected conservatives. You can't count on the Democrats to approach DeLay or disasters or the war or anything else in good faith anymore. They will circle around their own and they will lash out at the rest of us, even if it means people in Iraq or New Orleans die. Giving them DeLay will just increase their lust for more Republican blood. It will do nothing to placate them.

Throwing DeLay out before he has even gone to trial will betray weakness. Betraying weakness invites attack. Too many GOP-leaning bloggers are betraying weakness imho. They are only inviting more trouble.