Sometimes I am amazed at the actions taken by American conservatives. It is almost as if they are incapable of learning from experience.
One of the oldest conservative organizations has just taken such an amazing action. The American Conservative Union has just appointed Tom DeLay to their 33-member governing board. Never mind that he resigned from Congress in disgrace. Never mind that he still has felony charges pending against him in the state of Texas. Never mind that he was one of the reasons that voters turned against Republicans in the last election.
These guys still think it is a good idea to associate themselves with Tom DeLay. Democrats have to be laughing all the way to the next election. Why would they do this? DeLay is about as popular with today's voters as the Bubonic Plague was in the middle ages. Maybe they like his uncanny ability to attract a ton of illegal money.
This remarkably stupid move by conservatives gives Democrats exactly what they wanted. It had looked for a while like DeLay was yesterday's news, but now Democrats can point to DeLay and say, "This is what a conservative looks like!"
But there are a few honest conservatives left, who don't wish to associate themselves or their beliefs with the slime of Tom DeLay. Four members of the governing board of the ACU have resigned in protest of his appointment. They are Robert Luddy, Marc Rotterman, Tom Pauken and Craig Shirley.
Luddy said, "He was part of a congressional leadership that oversaw a massive expansion of the government, which conservatives opposed. It is one thing to call yourself a conservative, but you have to act on it."
Rotterman said, "Conservatives looked to Tom DeLay to cut government not grow it. He was complicit in the largest expansion of government in recent times."
Pauken, a fellow Texan, adds, "I just think we need to break loose from what was happening with the Republican Party in the post-Reagan era."
But it's only four out of 33 board members who seem to remember what conservatives say they believe in. The rest seem happy to associate themselves with the Texas criminal. I have to wonder what the rank-and-file believe. Are they also ready to abandon their beliefs to embrace DeLay?