The Republican Party has not only decided to stand by Tom DeLay.
It has explicitly embraced DeLay’s view that the attacks on him are the equivalent to attacks on conservatism itself.
It has explicitly rejected the Wall Street Journal-David Brooks-Lindsey Graham view that, for the sake of the movement, conservatism must be kept far, far away from the whiff of ethical transgressions.
It has implicitly sent the message that the DeLay way is the conservative way.
Not only that creating a seamless relationship between Congress and corporations -- foreign or domestic, through legal or illegal means – is ideologically in sync with conservatism.
But that pragmatically, the conservative movement does not have the popular support to survive without the kind of well-financed corporate network that DeLay has built.
In classic projection mode, House Majority Whip Roy Blunt said Dems were attacking DeLay because they have
“no competing policy ideas.”
But of course, DeLay is not cherished because he’s the GOP’s idea man.
He’s cherished because he’s the GOP’s bag man.
And if the GOP’s ideas were as politically potent as they like to claim, then they wouldn’t so badly need a bag man, and wouldn’t so badly need to protect him at all costs.
Apparently, selling our government to the highest bidder is the greatest idea conservatives got.
But the GOP has done the country a great service by making their deepest principles crystal clear.
And they are helping the nation make an informed choice about the kind of Congress they want in 2006.