DeLay’s Going Down

The GOP has officially turned on Tom DeLay. When Dark Lord Cheney signaled his disapproval last week, we were witnessing a fine moment in dog whistle politics; I don’t think that’s appropriate coming from the satanic cyborg’s lips seemed, to be sure, an ominous sign, but little did we know it would send the rightwing media machine into overdrive to take down one of their own.

Drudge is faithfully reporting each devastating new story about the embattled DeLay, which are now coming faster and faster, as fresh charges of ethics violations come tumbling one after another, each given a prominence previous (though equally damning) revelations had not.

Screen grab from the Drudge Report.

Last night, Raw Story leaked the Washington Post’s front page story: DeLay Russian trip paid for by firm lobbying Russian gov't, which can now be read in its entirety here, complete with a flow chart dissecting his trip. (!) And the NY Times reports today that DeLay’s wife and daughter have been paid more than $500,000 since 2001 by his political action and campaign committees.

It looks as though DeLay’s days are numbered.

This is our collective job as I see it:

1. Celebrate.

2. Refuse to allow the GOP to singularly pin DeLay as the face of their radical agenda. They’ve gone too far, and they know it. They need someone to take a fall, and DeLay, the coverage of whose blatant malfeasance was getting ever more difficult to contain, was the best option. If they are successful in sticking him with the sole responsibility for the insidious wingnuttery that has gripped our Congress, they will be able to distance themselves from their agenda as its designated posterboy crumbles and return to promoting the same extremism behind the scenes, as they were before they crossed the line. What we cannot do is allow them to effectively use DeLay to draw a line between them and their abhorrent objectives. He was an operative—a damn successful one, but still just an operative nonetheless. They will want to use him as a scapegoat; it’s up to us to make sure everything they’ve done stays attached to them, and all sense of the need for accountability doesn’t leave with DeLay.

3. Make sure that a DeLay departure does not usurp media attention if Frist goes for the nuclear option. There would undoubtedly be a media frenzy surrounding a DeLay fall from grace; it would be the perfect time for Frist and his minions to surreptitiously pass, as Mr. Shakes calls it, the “this country is now a dictatorship” legislation, rendering filibusters obsolete.

Nothing happens in a vacuum with this administration. DeLay suddenly having lost his protection, finding himself naked, cold, and alone on the front page of the Washington Post, was not inevitable, not in this media climate. This is an orchestrated takedown, and you can bet your boots it’s a red herring for something. We’ve just got to make sure we keep our eyes peeled for exactly what that something is.

(Thanks to Oddjob for providing links.)

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