DELAY'S PALS. It's worth reading through Mike Allen's extended interview with Tom DeLay. The Hammer's explicit plea, "I'm not whining," is especially amusing, coming as it does amidst thousands of words worth of burning resentments, bathetic self-pity, and paranoia.

This passage, describing the process that led to his decision, caught my eye:

I made a speech last week, and that pretty much cinched it for me. A good friend of mine, Dr. Rick Scarborough, who started -- and I urged him, and we've worked together over the years -- an organization called Vision America, which is out recruiting pastors to get involved in the political arena. He asked me to come speak. He was having a conference on the war on Christianity. So I made a speech on Wednesday. It was covered by C-Span and, frankly, a bunch of cameras. I felt very good, very free about giving that speech. The reaction was incredible -- just an outpouring of love and support from the audience. It was probably the one single event that convinced me: I can DO this. I could keep fighting for the things I believe in, outside of Congress.

DeLay goes on to indicate that it will be these Christian right causes he'll be championing the most out of office. It's rather hard to imagine a money man like DeLay focusing solely on social conservative activism in retirement, though the man is born-again and these activists were certainly the last ones standing with him as the heat came down last year. I wrote a bit about Scarborough and those around his and DeLay's orbit last year. Scarborough organized the recent "War on Christians" conference here in DC, at which he tossed off a stellar line about DeLay's current troubles: "God always does his best work right after a crucifixion." We can all look forward to his brand new book entitled (no joke) Liberalism Kills Kids.

Talking with him last year, I found Scarborough to be personally a rather nice guy. But for what it's worth, he's never written for The American Prospect and I don't anticipate him doing so any time soon. You should subscribe.

--Sam Rosenfeld