Are conservative Republicans little more than fair-weathered friends? Or are they confident enough about what they stand for that they aren't easily cowed into displays of self-destructive blind loyalty?
We see it now in the case of Tom DeLay. Is the politically ginned up campaign to destroy him, as reprehensible as it may be, reason enough for the right to fear that the conservative movement is the real target of the attack? Or is it instead simply a good time to return to conservative principles that DeLay somehow had lost sight of?
Something similar happened during the ouster of Trent Lott. The left jumped on him for a P.C. crime. Instead of defending him, many on the right exploited Lott's troubles to have him replaced with the more conservatively programmed Bill Frist. Perhaps Frist hasn't lived up to expectations, but no one is preparing to "frist" him. He's conservative enough to deserve defending. No revolving-door Jack Abramoffs in his closet.
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