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The DeLay Example

Wednesday, April 5, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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Up early for a segment on Fox & Friends with the Judge and Allison, partly about Tom DeLay and partly about the new book’s focus on maintaining the GOP majorities in both House and Senate in November’s elections.

I think that’s the bottom line of the decision by Tom DeLay to step down: He put the Congressional majority he helped build ahead of his personal vindication at the polls, a vindication that would have been close-run at best and incredibly expensive.

With his departure the Texas 22nd should stay in GOP hands, and the Democrats are denied a whipping boy for the next six months. As Tony Blankley points out this morning, “Democrats express delight but are actually disappointed, as his Texas congressional seat is more likely to now stay Republican and they won’t have Tom Delay to kick around anymore.”

Some on the left are genuinely delighted and are busy doing their Lord of the Flies dance, but not the pros. DeLay’s stepping aside helps clear the field so that focus can be put on the national issues at stake in November.

Simply put: If Democrats win a majority in either body, the war will be deeply compromised. If Democrats win both, the war will be lost in a replay of the retreat from Vietnam the Democrats orchestrated in the ’70s.

The insurgents are fighting on in the hope of one thing: That America will quit.

The Democrats are committed to quitting.

Given these stakes in November, every Republican member has got to be asking themselves what do they do to preserve the majority. DeLay did the right thing, and hopefully his example will guide others over the next six months.

Judge Napolitano asked me for specific examples of how the GOP gets the momentum back. I mentioned the obvious things such as forcing a vote of Russ Feingold’s censure motion and of course up-or-down votes on all of the president’s judicial nominees.

But the key thing would be for every Republican to begin to think beyond the next sound byte to the much larger contest between the parties, and to focus relentlessly on the war and the choice before the country.

It isn’t about the individual members. It is about the majority. Perhaps DeLay’s stunner will force a few more to recognize that essential fact.

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