For weeks, former Congressman Dick Armey and Focus on the Family have been publicly bickering, but all the while FOF chairman James Dobson has refused to respond personally, instead choosing to let proxies defend him and attack Armey.
Those days are now over.
Apparently, Dobson could no longer tolerate Armey’s allegations that “Dobson and his gang of thugs are real nasty bullies” who rely on “demagoguery” to manipulate the “intellectually lazy” and accusations that Dobson is a power-hungry egomaniac, so he a penned a lengthy reply and published it, not surprisingly, on the Fox News website.
In a piece entitled “Mr. Armey, You’ve Become a Bitter Man,” Dobson accuses Armey of making up or imagining past slights and intentionally distorting Dobson’s record and positions. On and on Dobson goes, defending his work and his influence within the Republican Party before chalking Armey’s dislike of him up to bitterness over Dobson’s support for Armey’s opponent in a race for House Majority Leader
I supported my close friend and hunting buddy, Rep. Steve Largent, R-Okla., because I thought he was more committed to conservative ideals, especially the sanctity of human life. Armey is apparently still ticked about that. At least in this instance, Armey has his facts right. I didn’t “orchestrate” anything, however, since it is impossible for an outsider to engineer any internal congressional matter. I did let my preference be known. I make no apology for that, but Mr. Armey still appears to resent me for it.
Finally, Dobson insinuates that Armey has sold out by working with the ACLU on privacy issues before all but dismissing him has a non-entity who is merely seeking to make a name for himself
Believe it or not, I don’t spend my time trying to figure out what Dick Armey is doing and really don’t care very much one way or the other.
Either Dick Armey has forgotten most of what I said, or he has become a very bitter man. Or maybe there is another possibility. He could be trying to reposition himself as an erstwhile Republican leader by discrediting the Religious Right, hoping to step into the vacuum after the upcoming election.
Come to think of it, that may explain everything.
With just a week to go before the election, Armey and Dobson couldn’t have picked a better time to air their dirty laundry in public and engage in a nasty ideological battle over which part of the Republican base – the anti-government tax-breaks-for-the-wealthy crowd or the anti-abortion gay-bashers – will attain the greatest influence over the party.