Right after the 2004 elections I wrote a piece called The Tom DeLay Litmus Test. It argued that Democrats should make it a priority to point out that Tom DeLay is the leader of the Republicans in Congress. He represents all of them. I asked the Democrats to hold Republican Congressmen, especially in Blue States, accountable for voting with DeLay.
This was before his ethical troubles really got heated. This was just when he was loathsome on the issues. The man doesn’t believe in the separation of church and state. He doesn’t believe women can take care of a family. It appears he would happily turn the country into a theocracy. How could anyone get elected in a Blue State with this man as his leader?
But now that Tom DeLay has also been rebuked, admonished, indicted, arrested and booked, every single Democrat in the country should run against him. This is the strategy that John Kerry used to defeat William Weld in Massachusetts (back when he knew how to win elections). He didn’t run against Weld, he ran against Newt Gingrich.
If you’re a Democrat running for Congress in 2006, you shouldn’t be running against your local Republican opponent. You should be running against DeLay. Make the local representatives prove they are not on Tom DeLay’s side. If they side with him, this will give you an excellent club to batter them with. If they disavow him, you create a rift in the Republican Party and help to take down their leader (let’s get real, he’s still the de facto leader).
Run commercials where you show how many times your local Republican Congressman voted with Tom DeLay. Ask the question, “If Rep. X votes with Tom DeLay 92% of the time, is there any difference between Rep. X and Tom DeLay?” Then show a picture of the local Republican Congressman being morphed into a picture of Tom DeLay. Finally, ask the voters how they feel about their Representative masquerading as a moderate, mainstream candidate, when it’s nearly impossible to tell him apart from the despicable Tom DeLay.
Politics isn’t for polite society. It’s time to get vicious. Run against DeLay ruthlessly until Republicans are either routed from the Blue States or they run screaming from their leader. Either way, the Republican Party should be sufficiently weakened, so that the best Tom DeLay could hope for is to return as the Minority Leader.