The Spectacle Blog
When Tom DeLay leaves the House of Representatives shortly, it will essentially complete the disappearance of the Republican leadership team that orchestrated the historic congressional election of 1994 and the brief, shining light that was the Conservative Revolution of the 104th Congress -- Dick Armey, Bill Paxon, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Bob Walker, Bob Livingston. Unfortunately, not only are they all gone, but tragically so is the conservative philosophy that used to undergird the Republican Party.
Today's installment is in a Wall Street Journal piece by the director of the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives, Peter Wehner. He takes on William F. Buckley and George Will for saying that the war in Iraq is lost, and Francis Fukuyama for saying the president's agenda for spreading democracy in the Middle East is dead. Here's the money quote:
Critics of the Iraq war have offered no serious strategic alternative to the president's freedom agenda, which is anchored in the belief that democracy and liberal institutions are the best antidote to the pathologies plaguing the Middle East. The region has generated deep resentments and lethal anti-Americanism. In the past, Western nations tolerated oppression for the sake of "stability." But this policy created its own unintended consequences, including attacks that hit America with deadly fury on Sept. 11. President Bush struck back, both militarily and by promoting liberty.
Some context on the DeLay announcement:
It's true that former GOP House Leader Tom DeLay's decision probably saves the Republicans a seat for the majority. It also takes a huge election-year topic away from Democrats, who planned on using DeLay as a poster boy across the country.
The House GOP has seen some internal polling and focus group materials that indicate DeLay wasn't going to be a huge drag on the party in the fall, but he was going to be a drag nonetheless.
We're hearing that there was no undue pressure put on DeLay, that after winning his contested primary, he had a chance to sit back and look at where things were going. He was looking to raise at least $8 million to $10 million for his re-election, and for what? he wondered.
In the end, this decision is good for the party and may very well save between three to five seats for Republicans across the country. DeLay deserves the party's thanks for his leadership and his service to our country.
Brandon Crocker implies that those who call guest worker programs amnesty don't "think words have meanings." The definition he offers is "to overlook an offense without attaching any punishment."
That strikes me as a too sweeping. The word is derived from amnesia, suggesting a forgetting of a past crime. Webster's defines it as "an act of authority (as a government) by which pardon is granted to a large group of individuals. The Oxford English Dictionary offers "forgetfulness, oblivion; an intentional overlooking; a general overlooking or pardon of past offenses, by the ruling authority." These don't include "without attaching any punishment," but a pardon does mean to act as though no crime had been committed. So strictly speaking, it's not amnesty.
That's why they play the game. Late Sunday I wrote to a friend about UCLA, "Because they're deep and play with confidence, I assume they could shut down Florida too, or at least faster than Florida can shut down them." What a blithering idiocy! Florida turned the tables on UCLAns from the get-go, dominating them on both ends and winning almost as one-sidedly as UNLV did in 1990 when it humbled Duke, 103-73. In 1991 Duke came back and got its revenge against UNLV (in the Final Four semifinals). Right now I don't see history repeating itself next year.
John: In David Brooks' rendition, Bill Kristol's "yahoos" are "blithering idiots, frankly" -- that's what Brooks called the people around Rep. Tom Tancredo on the Lehrer NewsHour last Friday. (He also rather dismissively called Tancredo, not a congressman, but "one of the anti-immigration guys in the House.") Right after this Brooks joined in with Mark Shields to praise Andrew Card's niceness.
That's the word, in spite of remaining sanguine in the face of strong Democratic challengers and the Abramoff scandal.
UPDATE: Via Drudge, Time's Mike Allen has more: says he didn't want to risk the seat and that he could accomplish more outside the House than inside.
For such a formerly effective operator, that goes to show how far he'd fallen on the Hill.