Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I don't think some people are quite getting it. Tom DeLay's words and deeds in the past few days aren't insane, or meant to be funny. There's nothing bizarre about his newfound religiosity; when he says he'd be happy to file an ethics complaint against Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, it's not unmitigated gall. When he vigorously high-fives congressional staffers, he's not being delusional about his status in life.

Folks, it's strategy.

In a lite way, Tom DeLay has done what Zacarias Moussaoui did last week: he's decided to embrace his downfall, defiantly and aggressively, making himself into a martyr in order to advance the radical movement that's central to his life. Like Moussaoui, he thinks ordinary members of the movement will blame his prosecutors rather than himself for his downfall; like Moussaoui, he thinks they'll empathize with his status as a target of the system. I think DeLay really believes that if he can present himself as the bloodied-but-unbowed victim of howling, jackbooted banshees, he'll win more converts (and more contributions and votes) to right-wing politicians and the Christian right in the future.

Of course, Moussaoui is literally ready to die; all he has to look forward to is seventy-odd virgins. DeLay, as I said yesterday, is trying to become a hero to the right in the hope that he can someday benefit from jury nullification by one or more juries packed with Christian conservatives.

He's trying to be the loud, proud embodiment of everything we hate -- just like Moussaoui. The biggest difference is that DeLay, unlike Moussaoui, would like to do that and beat the rap.

Moussaoui wants to defeat the Crusader infidel. DeLay wants to crush liberals, Democrats, and reformers. He wants the game to go on pretty much as it has in Washington and Texas in the years since he rose to power, and he wants to get back in the game himself as soon as possible. That's the point of all this.

No comments: