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:
THE HAMMER DROPS. Today's big news, besides my winning the Prospect NCAA office pool, is, of course, Tom DeLay's withdrawal from his re-election race and announced plan to step down from office in a matter of weeks. Former aide Tony Rudy's guilty plea last week -- with Ed Buckham almost sure to be next on the roster -- clearly provoked DeLay's decision. As The Washington Postreports today, DeLay will be able to convert his remaining campaign funds -- hundreds of thousands of dollars -- to his legal expenses, which are likely to shoot up over the remainder of the year.
DEMOCRATS AND SECURITY. Two more brief notes related to the Democratic security plan. First, the Iraq material is, of course, some pretty thin gruel. The Dems' position on Iraq involves calling for 2006 to be a "significant year of transition," even though the party won't have a chance to actually affect policy until (possibly) 2007 -- this confusion is sort of inherent to an "agenda statement" that's really a campaign document.
THE VISION THING. Too many people too soon forgot about John Boehner's laugh-out-loud hilarious campaign manifesto released back during his House leadership race, in which the Ohio rep. included epigraphs from Winston Churchill and Walt Disney and implored his fellow Republicans to reclaim their souls through a renewed commitment to spewing vacuous platitudes. For a liberal, one of the funniest things in the memo (PDF) was Boehner's enthusiastic call for a big caucus-wide powwow to figure out what Republicans stand for and what their core principles are.
"RED AMERICA": BLUE AMERICA'S FAULT?Rob Anderson's effort to cast liberal elites as the real bad guys in the Ben Domenech scandal does indeed seem more than a bit strained. Anderson speculates that Jim Brady hired Domenech precisely because he was a crude, unqualified caricature of conservative punditry that Brady, fogged by blue state elitism, perceived to be conservatism's true face.