March 30, 2005

The DeLay Disease

"Liberals To Target DeLay in Ads," the headline says. "Hooray!," thinks I, "they're finally going to go hard after this bullshit." But no, that's not what they're doing at all. See for yourself:
The Campaign for America's Future, backed by labor and other liberal leaders, plans to announce today that DeLay will be featured in television ads in at least four Republican House districts. The group said it is buying a 30-second ad in DeLay's suburban Houston district that shows a man wearing cuff links and a Rolex watch, and washing his hands.

"Tom DeLay: He'd like to wash his hands of corruption," the announcer says before recounting charges against the majority leader. "Tom DeLay can't wash his hands of corruption," the ad concludes. "But Congress can certainly wash its hands of Tom DeLay."

The group also plans ads designed to put pressure on Republican members to "stand with DeLay or decency."
I'm sorry, say again? Other Republicans will get a chance to "wash their hands" of DeLay? Ha ha! Cute, but no. Look, last year no one was offering Senate Democrats a chance to "wash their hands" of Tom Daschle. Quite the opposite—the phrase "Daschle Democrats" spread far and wide across the airwaves, during the big push to paint the entire minority party as one giant ball of pure, black-hearted obstructionism. It was dirty, it was lame, it was disgusting, but that's how the fucking game goes. *No one* gets out of here alive!

Seriously, it's useless, entirely useless trying to turn Tom DeLay into a big lightning rod for all the outrage against the House's excesses these days. If that's what happens, he'll be purged in a minute's notice and then absolutely nothing will change. The GOP will just find someone else to do what DeLay does. Roy Blunt can do what DeLay does. The K Street stovepipe will still pump along. The rule-bending and committee-abusing will still go on. House Democrats will still be cut out of the decision-making process. DeLay's just the symptom of a larger disease, and that's how he ought to be treated and portrayed. Hm? Please, please get this right so I don't have to spend all my time being a shrill partisan hack. Thanks.
-- Brad Plumer 3:15 AM || ||