Tuesday, April 04, 2006

More on Delay's Decamp

I've been reading the blogosphere this morning on the whole Delay affair and there is a lot of celebrating. The most common theme is that he won't be missed and I agree. What has bothered me though, is that people have the hope that Delay's exit from the scene will change the direction of the GOP.

Don't hold your breath.

It's not that I don't think that the GOP should change; that's the reason behind this blog. But I think too many people see Delay and his ilk has the problem with the party and I think we are only part-right. Delay is a problem, but he is more a symptom of an illness than he is the source of all that is wrong in the GOP today and his departure won't change things.

A few weeks back, the outgoing congresssman gave a speech to a gathering a fundamentalist Christians where the assertion was that Delay was forced out of power because he was a Christian. This is what convener Rick Scarborough said at the "War on Christians" conference about Delay:

"I believe the most damaging thing that Tom DeLay has done in his life is take his faith seriously into public office, which made him a target for all those who despise the cause of Christ," Scarborough said, introducing DeLay yesterday. When DeLay finished, the host reminded the politician: "God always does his best work right after a crucifixion."

Then there were the words from Delay himself, which should scare the whatever out of you:

"Sides are being chosen, and the future of man hangs in the balance!" he warned. "The enemies of virtue may be on the march, but they have not won, and if we put our trust in Christ, they never will. . . . It is for us then to do as our heroes have always done and put our faith in the perfect redeeming love of Jesus Christ."

The problem facing the GOP these days isn't Tom Delay; he is just a symptom. Instead, it's Christian fundamentalism, that is driving policy and tactics in the Republican party. THAT is what has to be faced, not some slimy Texas representative.

The people who attended that conference is the problem. Delay was doing their bidding. With him gone, they still have others to turn to.

We seem to forget that it is these so-called "Christian" soliders that are the ones who control the apparatus of a major political party.

As a friend and former Republican once said, the religious right did things the old fashioned way, they went to meetings and made their voice known. Pretty soon, they were the ones in charge.

Joe Weedon has a noteworthy post on Delay in that he states Delay was a visionary leader. Now, that might set some teeth to grinding, but the thing is, he's right. Delay and his Christian right supporters have a vision and they have worked hard to make it a reality. I can't say the same thing for Republican centrists and Centrists in general. What is our vision? Do we have any interest in doing something to change the tone of politics other than spout stuff on a blog?

If you want to be a force for change you need to get involved. If you are a Republican dissatisfied with the far right, then you need to stand up and say something. Get involved with some of the Republican organizations that are trying to change the party. I have links to them on the right of this page. Give money to those Republicans who are working for change. If you are centrist, find some way to support causes that can push back on the far right agenda.

Cheering Delay's demise might feel good, but it isn't worth a plug nickel in changing the party and the nation as a whole. Put down the party streamers and get to work.


lecentre said...

Interesting analysis... I agree that many people have been incorrectly pointing to Delay as the source of problems, and I think you correctly point out why. I'm kind of surprised to be hearing this from a minister, but then you seem to be a man of contradictions ... a gay minister who's also black and Republican.
Centrerion: Canadian politics

The Truffle said...

Good luck, Dennis! I've written a column for a local paper about the GOP and personal responsibility. It's something that I felt reeeeeeaaaaaaallly needed to be said. The Republican party has lost track of the ideals it once held dear. I think your work is cut out for you.