Challenge every seat
I've argued in the past that it is important to field challengers in every race, even if the math tells us that we have no chance of winning.
DeLay's reelection campaign committee has organized precinct walks in the past, but not to the extent it is now -- at least, not in years. His campaign is also airing an estimated $250,000 in television advertisements, after buying virtually no TV time during the past several elections.
And, personally, DeLay is throwing himself into his reelection effort, an effort that in the past required little of his time and attention.
DeLay decided unexpectedly last week to participate in a debate against Democrat Richard Morrison and two third-party candidates organized by a local high school's debating team. It was the first time in political observers' memory that DeLay had exposed himself to the barbs of political pygmies in a campaign debate.
"This is tougher because of this vindictive campaign that's been waged against me," said DeLay.
Morrison is still a long-shot for defeating DeLay. But he has made the race competitive enough that DeLay has had to spend time and money knocking back the challenge. The more time DeLay has to spend back home protecting his seat the less time he has to devote to screwing over the rest of the country. The more time he spends back home the less time he has to devote to helping other Republicans win their races.