Morton Blackwell, Republican National Committee member from Virginia and a member of ACU's board, said Republicans are being told support for Mr. DeLay is mandatory if they want future support from conservatives.
"Conservative leaders across the country are working now to make sure that any politician who hopes to have conservative support in the future had better be in the forefront as we attack those who attack Tom DeLay," he said."
Well. It appears that the movement is now beholden to the furtherance of the haphazard career of Tom DeLay. Tom DeLay, who in terms of tugging at social conservatives for money and support -- and then stabbing them in the back behind the scenes -- among the worst the United States Congress has to offer. Tom DeLay, who threatened the career of a Congressman's son to help ram through the disastrous, un-conservative Medicare bill. Tom DeLay, who knew full well that Jack Abramoff was the sort of man that any ethical public servant would assiduously avoid -- and went on junkets with him anyway. Tom DeLay, who has had a grand jury chipping away at his inner circle for months. Tom DeLay, who helped erode the informal checks that maintain republican governance in America by pioneering the detestable practice of off-year redistricting. Tom DeLay, who is, unlike his Senate counterpart, not incompetent, but nonetheless dirty. (Update: I am reminded, too, that this is also the Tom DeLay who forced through changes in the House ethics rules on indictments to safeguard his leadership position -- another nail in the coffin bearing the corpse of GOP rectitude.)
Unfortunately (or fortunately, from a purely political Democratic perspective), Trevino (who is a staunch social conservative) is unique among Republicans, mostly a straight shooter. Almost always wrong, but honestly so. DeLay will twist arms effectively - he always has.
And he will play to his newly minted base for all he is worth. As I said in the beginning of the Schiavo travesty, the whole circus was primarily about DeLay's own political skin. What DeLay has done, and will continue to do, is whatever is necessary to preserve his political life, with no concern whatsoever about the harm caused to the Republican Party. Because DeLay is a quintessential Republican politician - insanely greedy for power.
Update [2005-4-2 12:32:45 by Armando]: Delay playing to his new base - see Georgia 10 on DeLay's War on the Judiciary.
Update [2005-4-2 12:51:46 by Armando]: Mikecan1978 points us to an intriguing statement from Cheney: