Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Does DeLay Matter?

Steve Benen writes that former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay still matters. Benen relates what indicted has been up to since leaving elected office, and concludes that "DeLay, for reasons that defy comprehension, continues to be a major right-wing player."

Of course DeLay is relevant to the extent that he manages some success in recruiting fundamentalists to his culture jihad.

But he's also important for the window he provides into the conservative id.

I've always been inclinlately that it's a bit delusional to judge a proposal, or a movement, by any plausible rationale a PR group can come up with-- particularly when the GOP has been so hostile to empiricism and so committed to opaque, pork-laden bills that make no sense in terms of public policy.

What's more, Tom DeLay was no obscure back-bencher; he was the most powerful Congressman in Washington for the better part of a decade. His snarling, take-no-prisoners amoralism and hyperpartisanship earned him many rewards from the Republican Party.

His antics, and his off-the-wall pronouncements, are a peek into what the GOP leadership is thinking when they're not uttering carefully crafted, sensible-sounding, intentionally irrelevant talking points-- and into the mindset of the culture jihadis who compose "the base" (or, in Arabic, "al qaeda").

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