So according to the WSJ's John Fund, it appears Tom DeLay is fixin' to become a commentator on CNN. Think Progress:
In today’s WSJ Political Diary, [Fund] writes: 'Despite his antipathy toward liberals, Mr. DeLay joked that he’s happy to work with them. He told me he is about to sign on with CNN as a commentator. "I may be their only conservative on air, but someone has to do it."'
At first glance, this might bring up certain rather pointed questions, like "what the hell might CNN be thinking?", or "CNN: what the hell are they thinking?", or "if no other conservative commenter on CNN can be considered conservative by Tom DeLay, is there anyone left of Cthulhu who could fit the bill, or can a truly conservative viewpoint at this point only be adequately represented by crude visual approximations, like perhaps an iguana duct-taped to a car battery?"
Personally, however, I think this is a fantastic idea. For too long, America has been suffering from a dearth of commentary by Indicted Republicans. Oh, sure -- convicted Republicans, we have, as G. Gordon Liddy clutters the airwaves with his more-felonious-than-thou Convicted Republican Felon viewpoint. Oliver North, the piker, with the best of all worlds, admitting guilt, getting convicted, then getting the convictions overturned -- that qualifies as nothing short of war hero status, among Republicans. And lucky Pardoned Republican stiffs like Iran-Contra figure Elliot Abrams can go on to find plenty of work in the Bush administration, or in the various conservative think tanks set up as halfway houses to allow disgraced Republicans a place to land while their reputations are being pieced back together over the years by a crack team of conservative media surgeons.
But merely indicted Republicans? Why aren't their views considered more worthy of promotion by "straight" news outlets such as CNN? No, if you ask me, this is a master stroke by CNN -- an attempt to lock up what will no doubt in the next few years be a rapidly expanding Indicted Republican demographic, that narrow group of Republicans who have made it farther than merely being actively disgraced by their behavior, but not quite made it into the conviction or pardon necessary for the true redemptive powers of their handlers to kick in. For CNN and Tom DeLay, it's a win-win situation: DeLay needs a place where currently being under indictment for money laundering is, remarkably, not considered a ding against your credibility, and CNN doesn't have any remaining credibility to be leached anyway.
I'm sure DeLay is going to have a lot to talk about. He's already let it be known that he thinks Scooter Libby's felony convictions should be pardoned away. (Remarkable! An Indicted Republican urging the pardon of a Convicted Republican! I can't possibly imagine the complexities of thought that might go into such a position! Truly, it is news from the very breaking edge of Washington politics -- put this on the air, CNN!)
But DeLay could come in handy for a great many other stories. What about Duke Cunningham, how does Indicted Republican Tom DeLay feel about this particular scandal? I'm sure Tom will have no doubt terribly insightful words about Jack Abramoff and the coincentric waves of investigation and indictment coming off of that ongoing episiode. And the Gonzales scandal, where U.S. Attorneys who indicted Republicans have been purged: surely, indicted Republican Tom DeLay could interject some wisdom to CNN viewers that would be entirely analytical and objective and foundational. How about the disgrace and resignation of Mark Foley? Granted, Foley hasn't been indicted for anything, but I'm sure Tom DeLay could use his important ongoing experiences with the criminal justice system to give us a few words about why sending sexually explicit messages to children really ought to be no big thing. Foley's been out of the limelight for a while now, he's real close to redemption. He can taste it. Not sure where "sending sexually explicit messages to children" falls on the Republican rehab scale, but it's no doubt somewhere in the broad range between "using your maid to illegally obtain the prescription painkillers you're addicted to" and "subverting the laws of the United States in a conspiracy to sell weaponry to a hostile nation."
In any event, this is a brilliant move by CNN. It'd be like hiring Crazy Diaper Astronaut Lady to cover future space launches -- almost postmodern in its artistic brilliance. No, we truly are in a new dawn of media -- why have political reporters at all, when you can simply hire the indicted politicians themselves to tell the audience how they should feel about, er, indicted politicians?
UPDATE: Alas, a CNN spokesman now denies that DeLay will be hired on. It would appear that the Indicted Republican was counting his redemptions before they redempted.