It's all about DeLay
Check out this dKos diary on how the Republicans in Congress have apparently decided to circle the wagons around Tom DeLay. The apparent strategy is to push the public's perception to think that the attacks on Tom DeLay are attacks on the Republican caucus and are thus attacks on Republican ideology. Message: Tom DeLay didn't do anything wrong, the Democrats just can't come up with any good ideas on their own so they have fallen back to attacking DeLay's character.
This is a strategy that could work, if it weren't for the fact that Tom DeLay is such a personally unappealing individual. The more people come to know him the less they like him.
Let me put it this way: he ain't no Dubya.
Josh Marshall comments on this as well and makes an astute point:
When DeLay says 'bring it on' to his critics and marshals the full host of movement conservatism to defend him, I can't imagine that worries his critics a wink. I don't say that because these folks are impotent or can't raise a ruckus; they can. It is rather that in purely partisan terms the aim of the people leading the charge against DeLay is to raise his profile, to make him the face of the Republican majority on capitol hill -- with all his full measure of snarl, extremity and venality.
So if DeLay's cronies want to go to war with Public Campaign or the Campaign for America's Future or anyone else, I can't imagine they mind. Because that's just another way to drive home the reality that these groups are trying so hard to demonstrate: that Tom DeLay is the Republican majority -- extreme on a few key 'culture' issues and, beside that, on the block for the highest bidder.
The Republicans want to make Tom DeLay out to be just another Republican who is being unfairly attacked by those mean Democrats. But Tom DeLay is not just another Republican. He is Tom DeLay. And the more the Republican caucus embraces him the more they will all begin to look like him.