Tuesday, May 30, 2006

the delay strategy

Can Texas Democrats use Tom DeLay as a strategy in this year's midterm elections, even with the absence of DeLay as a candidate or even an incumbent?

There on the screen was Tom DeLay – 30 feet tall, flickering in black and white like the man who wasn't there in a film noir.

For political activists intent on highlighting the message of political corruption in this year's House and Senate races, it did not seem to matter that Mr. DeLay was actually no longer a candidate and soon won't be a congressman, either.

To the crowd that gathered Friday night for the premiere of The Big Buy, a documentary about the former House majority leader's precipitous rise and fall, Tom DeLay is still big box office.

"DeLay becomes a symbol," said Glenn Smith of the liberal advocacy group Drive Democracy. "And the symbol floats free of his particular circumstance in or out of power. That's a political fact."

The Democrats couldn't have asked for a better Republican poster child. Tom DeLay, the embattled U.S. Representative from Sugar Land, Texas, has become the face of political corruption. As President Bush witnesses an erosion of his conservative base (yes, even in Texas), more and more people are also opening their eyes to the Republican leadership that has railroaded the Bush agenda through Congress.

Some Republicans have suggested that Democrats stop harping on DeLay now that he has agreed to resign from office this summer, months before the midterm elections take place. Democrat Nick Lampson, a former U.S. Representative that was ousted from his seat due to DeLay's redistricting, is running for DeLay's vacant seat in the 22nd Congressional District of Texas. Lampson's campaign has heavily focused on Tom DeLay and his gerrymandering, elitist, neo-conservative ways.

It's clear, though. American voters won't tolerate people like DeLay anymore. Even the conservative pundits are catching on to the new political tides (for example, Bill O'Reilly thinks he may have been "a little unfair" to Hillary Clinton). Texas Democrats, especially Nick Lampson, cannot stop talking about Republican corruption or its king... Tom DeLay. They need to employ "the DeLay strategy" from now until November. Texans are smart people and they will recognize that it's time for a little "House-cleaning." DeLay left of his own accord, but we'll have to vote out his cronies on our own.

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