So what has Tom DeLay been up to since leaving office, besides telling Rick Scarborough’s congregation that “America was created by God to spread the Gospel; to spread the word of Jesus Christ and to propagate Christianity,” that is?
Well, in addition to starting a consulting firm and writing the occasional blog post, he’s apparently been hard at work trying to get his Coalition for a Conservative Majority off the ground, though so far it seems that he’s been more successful in getting media coverage of his grandiose plans to become the MoveOn of the Right than in actually transforming CCM into any sort of grassroots powerhouse:
“Obama is too radical,” he says, calling the presumptive Democratic nominee a “socialist” and a “Marxist.” But even if McCain wins, that won’t be sufficient for a 1994-style conservative comeback. “Conservatives will have to fight McCain too on issues like immigration, affirmative action, and global warming,” DeLay says. He warns that the cap-and-trade policies favored in varying degrees by both Obama and McCain could “destroy our economy.”
Since leaving the House, DeLay has been busy raising money for conservative causes, huddling with movement leaders over political strategy, training activists, and rallying true believers to keep the faith. The Coalition for a Conservative Majority now has eight active chapters, with hopes of growing across the entire country. Even more important to DeLay than reclaiming the congressional majority is defending Israel, another area where he has remained active behind the scenes now that he is no longer in office.
In many ways DeLay’s task may be the hardest, especially given the tools the Hammer has at his disposal. Enforcing party discipline in the House isn’t exactly the same as keeping together a fractious group of economic, social, and national-security conservatives who have been demoralized by defeat and are still adapting to Obama after gearing up to fight Hillary. This may include the Coalition for a Conservative Majority, whose website contains more references to Hillary than Obama. The group’s chairman, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, was an honorable exception to the Buckeye State GOP’s unprincipled big-government drift, but his landslide gubernatorial defeat raises questions about whether he is the man to topple MoveOn.Org.