Follow the Leader: The Right and its Big Night for Tom DeLay

Sometimes it’s fun to watch the chickens come home to roost. Or
at least witness it vicariously through others.

That’s the not-so-guilty pleasure Lou Dubose provides in his
Texas Observer account of House Majority Leader Tom
DeLay’s ‘lifetime achievement’ banquet, which reads like a
debutante ball for a girl who just got caught with her hoop skirt
over her head and is headed for social purgatory.

The popular kids — House Speaker Dennis Hastert, conservative
icon Jesse Helms, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist — didn’t show,
nor did more than 200 of the 233 members of the House Republican
Conference. The ‘true believers’ made it — the young marchers who
toil at the conservative movement’s nonprofit foundations. Perhaps
they came to support DeLay’s ‘remake’ as ‘a regular guy beloved by
the folks back home.’ Or maybe it was, as one of the youthful,
moderately inebriated guests put it, ‘Just the freeeeee
tickets!’

Either way, for Dubose, the event was reminiscent of ‘A Salute
to Newt’ — a kind of going-out ball for a soon-to-be defrocked
politico. That could be wishful thinking. But as the myriad
investigations into sketchy lobbyists linked to DeLay gain steam, a
few Republicans are gearing up to take DeLay’s spot. ‘[They] have
every reason to believe DeLay is on his way out,’ Dubose writes.
‘They know the majority leader is always a bad story about to break
in The Washington Post.’
Hannah Lobel

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Follow the Leader: The Right and its Big Night for Tom
DeLay

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