Tom Delay is stepping down. It's a brilliant move. For years now the Democrats have made a tremendous ruckus about the "political corruption" of the majority Republicans. They have chosen to focus on Tom Delay. They have painted him as The Very Visage of Corruption. The left has made every possible effort to take him down, hoping that the GOP as a whole would follow his fall.
I remember being very frustrated for months while I waited for Delay to step down as Speaker of the House, to take himself out of the limelight, to allow the focus to shift back to the party and the agenda. Gracious move number one was when he did step aside, a move which lead to a remarkable and cleansing debate within the Republican caucus and base as John Boehner was selected as the new Speaker.
This is gracious move number two. Humbly fading into the sunset even though he won his primary last month. And now, looking back, it is plain to see that waiting so long to take both of these steps was a great idea. The Dems were raring for a fight. He simply picked up the ball and walked off the playground.
In their confusion the Dems will crow and cluck for a while they caused his downfall... that he stepped down because of imminent prosecution or the burden of scandal or such. But I won't believe it. He is too shrewd of a political operator for that. He knew it was his time to step down. He had lived out his fifteen minutes of fame, tasted glory, stood upon the mountain top and saw the whole world laid out beneath him. Yet despite the power and influence he held in his hands, he has remained a humble man.
The strategy that Delay has implemented here is brilliant. He didn't stand pat and wait for the attack. He didn't rush headlong into battle. He didn't yearn for glory of victory on a blood-stained battlefield. He simply laid down his weapon, took his wife's hand, and turned aside.
Now the Dems only have Bush to vilify. And you know what's brilliant about that? Bush can't run again in 2008. They are girding themselves for battle... and there will be no enemy. And the Republicans will win again.
It's almost too easy.
Two of my co-workers were ribbing me today about Delay. The conversation will be boisterous tomorrow, I have no doubt. I look forward to it.