I was interviewed by a reporter today about the DeLay furor. And at one point we touched on this new ‘counter-attack’ which DeLay’s partisans are trying to mount against his growing chorus of critics. Will it make a difference? Will they quiet the storm? And so forth.
There’s a post at DailyKos which gives some examples of the degree to which major conservative leaders are now willing to stake their all on defending Tom DeLay. And it’s worth noting that there doesn’t seem to be much defense on the merits (in the sense of denying the voluminous evidence of his corruption); he’s just their guy; and they’ll attacks whoever attacks him.
But set that aside for the moment.
When DeLay says ‘bring it on’ to his critics and marshals the full host of movement conservatism to defend him, I can’t imagine that worries his critics a wink. I don’t say that because these folks are impotent or can’t raise a ruckus; they can. It is rather that in purely partisan terms the aim of the people leading the charge against DeLay is to raise his profile, to make him the face of the Republican majority on capitol hill — with all his full measure of snarl, extremity and venality.
So if DeLay’s cronies want to go to war with Public Campaign or the Campaign for America’s Future or anyone else, I can’t imagine they mind. Because that’s just another way to drive home the reality that these groups are trying so hard to demonstrate: that Tom DeLay is the Republican majority — extreme on a few key ‘culture’ issues and, beside that, on the block for the highest bidder.
When Democrats go corrupt, they betray their principles. And certainly it’s happened enough times. With someone like DeLay, there are no principles to betray. It’s just money and power from the git-go. And really that means just power. A cash-and-carry operation.
Nothing changes from the alpha to the omega save that you eventually run afoul of the law.