Every now and then, here and there, you pick up a news article about the “Republican Backlash” that is going to give Tom DeLay another term in congress. One such appeared yesterday in “The Washington Times”. In the article, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) is quoted as saying, “This whole thing could explode in the Democrats' face. He has indicated that if called back into battle, he'll fight -- and I'd say his chances of keeping this seat in Republican hands are pretty good."
Chiming in on the backlash theme another Texas Republican, Rep. John Carter remarked, “If the Democrats use the courts to force him to stay on the ticket, and he doesn't even campaign, he could still win it. And, remember, his district is still strongly Republican, by about 55 percent to 60 percent, and so he probably has a better chance of winning than if none of this had happened."
Republicans, these two believe, are so outraged over the Texas Democratic Party Lawsuit to keep Tom DeLay on the November ballot, that they will come out in droves to support their corrupt and discredited candidate. Could it be that they are thinking of the response that Tom received in his memorable speech (is Tom drinking again?) to the party faithful earlier this month in Sugar Land? His “Well, I may give them just exactly what they want” remark brought their collective well-heeled butts out of their chairs in loud ovation.
Both Hensarling and Carter are apparently still enamored of the $20,000 in ARMPAC funds they each received from Tom DeLay’s cash cow. Carter, by the way, doesn’t know the numbers for CD-22. It has been 55% Republican since Tom’s redistricting. Feeling safe, DeLay carved off 5% or so of his constituents to bolster the Republican rolls in neighboring districts.
But what do those voters representing the “Salt of the Earth” have to say on this?
As if in echo of these remarks (a true miracle as the echo would have to precede the initial remark) an article appeared in the local Galveston County Daily News on July 9th that purports to reveal the coming slaughter in November.
“I’ll vote for Tom DeLay,” said Carter, who doesn’t consider himself a political activist. “What I think Tom DeLay should get back on the ballot, go back into his Sugar Land home and run.”Not that the 63-year-old Carter is any big fan of DeLay whose recent tenure in office has been marked by a state money-laundering indictment related to campaign finances and for his ties to a lobbyist who is in federal prison for influence-peddling.“There are some things that I don’t care for about Tom DeLay,” he said. “I’m not absolutely a fan of his. I would vote for him because I disagree with what the process is right now.“I think for him to say ‘I am no longer a candidate,’ he has the right to do that, and I think the Republican Party should have the opportunity to replace him.”Carter insisted his mind was not made up on supporting DeLay until Sparks’ ruling.
Carter’s son-in-law, Trey Meador, is a Friendswood resident and echoed similar sentiments. Meador, though, is frustrated with politics in general and admitted that while often voting Republican he has thought at times of supporting an independent candidate.“Now, in 2006, I am almost tempted not to be a registered Republican,” said Meador. “Who are really representing the people? Or are their motives just to make a dime?”Still, if given the choice Meador said he would support DeLay — or any Republican who may be on the ballot — come November despite the swirl of scandal that would assert DeLay is one of those politicians Meador is so frustrated with. “It’s better than the alternative,” said Meador.
Other than those two opinions, and one that likened Tom DeLay to General George S. Patton, that was the sum total of the voting public that the Galveston County Daily News could find to hold forth on this issue.
Then they consulted Republican Party hacks.
Interviewing Robin Armstrong, the vice chairman of the Republican Party, they reported that Armstrong predicts the Democrats tactics will actually backfire.“I think it will motivate many in our party,” Armstrong said. “Tom DeLay still has a tremendous amount of good will in the party.”
In reference to the Backlash, or what is now being called “the sympathy factor” Armstrong holds that “many of those who were on the fence before may actually now be willing to come down on the DeLay side”.
I remember stories like this at bedtime. Stories like The Little Engine that Could.
Folly and Fairy Tales.
In Fort Bend County there are different stories. I am an avid reader of FortBendNow, an online newspaper that also has a blog-like facility for reader comments. Most of the Op/Ed pieces or political news on Tom DeLay and the lawsuit filed by the Texas Democratic Party have mostly blazingly partisan commentary attached to the articles. Once in a while though, someone posts a comment that gives one pause. I have lifted quotations from FortBendNow’s comments section to let you see what some people are thinking in this county. It is a high-graded collection of some very telling statements.
First I want to begin with a quote from a person I assume to be a Democrat, but he makes the point that the rest of these people, all Republican or former Republican, seem to be saying:
“It must be awfully awkward right now to be a Delay supporter in Texas. Can you imagine having to look your friends in the eye, scant months after shaking them down for campaign contributions, and then having to admit that the guy whose praises you had previously been singing … well, he wasn’t ever really serious about campaigning anyway, he was just playing fast and loose with the election code? Maybe Texans are more forgiving than others, but I’m sure that my friends would be bitter beyond words. Might make me a little bit resentful of having been taken advantage of, myself.”
And here, is your Republican Backlash:
“I am a Republican, but am embarrassed by DeLay. He is the one that has put us in this mess. He defrauded the voters when he kept his name on the primary ballot without the real intention to run for the office. Nothing changed from the primary election to the time he announced his plans to resign. He simply thought he could circumvent the primary voters and allow the party to pick his successor. If DeLay must remain on the ballot I think he should withdraw. I for one cannot vote for someone who was that dishonest to the Republican Primary voters.”
“If DeLay really had the voters right to choice in mind he would have withdrew BEFORE the primaries. DeLay tried to scam the election process and the judge did not fall for his con. So DeLay, grow a set and quit being a little bully blaming everyone else about the problem YOU created. You made the bed now it looks like you will have to lie on it.”
“…some of us are actually pleased that DeLay wasn’t able to successfully game the system.”
“I’m surprised that any republican can still have a feeling of pity for DeLay. What will it take for them to open thier eyes to the truth about thier party and corruption that has been going on in Washington, in both houses. This country will never be the same because of what they have been able to do to us, the people… I used to be one…”
“Good ol Tom Delay has stuck it to the Ft Bend Republicans. As one of those Ft Bend Republicans while I do not like the ruling of Judge Sparks, I do not see that he [had] any other choice. The Great Tom Delay who did little for Ft Bend County has given us his parting gift. Boy is my rear end sore. Thank you Tom, hope you enjoy prison.”
“I am dismayed with the lack of leadership, unity and direction of the Fort Bend Republican Party. … Where is the leadership? First there are informal ballots, then nominee preference surveys. I’m waiting for someone to suggest a talent competetion. If this buffoonery was happening in the Democratic Party, we Republicans would be shaking our heads and laughing at them. When it’s happening in our own party though, it’s just sad.”
“Sorry to see you resign from the House. Couldn’t you have done a better job, by falling on your shoorrt ‘Yellow’ SWORD”
“I say, let him scamper off to Virginia. His annointed successor is also going to have adopt his stepchild of broken promises, and without the support of those campaign contributions”
“I’m not enamored with either of your Parties, but Tom DeLay’s inability to win at the ballot box is what has gotten us here in the first place. He said himself there was a good chance he wouldn’t win . . . and he was sugarcoating his chances. Tom’s a sore loser so he wanted to take his ball and go home . . . or to Virgnia. Reminds me of when he couldn’t keep his Majority Leader position in the House, so he tried to change the rules. Maybe Dems go to court too much, but don’t whine and wimper now, Republicans, because the rest of us aren’t as willing as you to overlook when DeLay breaks the law (again) and uses the Primary to raise money for his legal fees. Shady, shady stuff
“There are four adults in our household that used to be Republican. Now we are very Independent voters. Our Professional Engineer says our 7 yr old house should be torn down. That’s what the Republicans did for us. There are still good Democrats and Republicans that care for their constituents, however, those caring lawmakers are smaller in number each election year.”
“I was told today (Sunday) at …Church by a friend that after all the clamoring regarding Fort Bend and Texas losing its clout in Congress the reality is if we Nick Lampson he starts with his six years seniority already earned and intact.”
[An Open Letter to David Wallace]
“This example of the republicans that are “hand Picking” you without regard to voter input is just one of dozens of examples that have chased my wife and I away from the Republican party. MY wife and I are a bit old fashioned in that we believe ‘Actions speak louder than words.’ The actions of the Republican party made us feel dirty. The party consists of people we could no longer associate with because of the questionable moral and ethical values being exhibited through action and in-action.”
And this last one pretty much sums up the looming backlash:
“Democrats didn’t run DeLay off. A large number of Republicans who wouldn’t tolerate corruption in their midst ran DeLay off. If those Republicans (and I am one of them) come home for the general election, Lampson is sunk. I do not think even CD-22 is 69% Republican. However, it [just] did not bode well with DeLay getting less than 2/3 votes from a district that he has served for around 22 years. Anyway with the Perot factor out of the equation it looks very good for a Republican candidate that is not DeLay.”
So, Hensarling, Carter, Armstrong, Galveston County Daily News, go do your homework and stop spreading fairy tales. From what I can see, the Backlash/Sympathy Vote for DeLay will more than likely be a Forwardlash/Anti-DeLay Vote for Nick Lampson (who has eight years in Congress, not six - the commenter later self-corrected himself).
Will there be a backlash in this election? Oh yes, yes there will be. From all of us who have