It was an honor and a privilege to listen to former House Majority leader Tom DeLay opine on all things political. Delay was candid in his assessment of the sucesses and failures of the Republican party the last few years, and in the need for better cross-issue organization among Conservatives. It was an especially enjoyable conversation for me, as I listened from the happy confines of Disneyland, on a gorgeous sunny day. It was tough–really.
That said, to the recap:
Delay’s opening remarks started with his new purpose and goals now that he is out of office. He commented that he knew he wanted to do two things: further the conservative agenda in America, and support Israel (which I found fascinating, but didn’t come up again the rest of the conversation). He has entered the blogosphere at his website and started a new organization called “GAIN,” that is intended to unite conservative activists and help conservatives build a coherent strategy, and improve conservative communication about strategic issues. DeLay sees poor communication and a lack of unity as the two threats to the conservative cause in America.
DeLay’s take on the current political situation is that the current Republican representative caucus is struggling to find its direction. 80 of the 202 Republicans want to move the party left, while the other 120 want to keep it right. For him, the jury is still out on Boehner and the other leadership–while he hoped they would come out guns ablazin on opening day, House Republicans were only meeting late last week to set their agenda.
Finally, DeLay seemed convinced that the American people are for a socially conservative agenda, and that if conservatives can reacch them with that message, and mobilize the power in the people, they can overcome the better funded, better organized social left.
All in all, I would think from this conversation that DeLay’s involvement in politics is far from over. Though he was targeted for ethics violations (which were hardly violations, as this forthcoming book conclusively demonstrates), DeLay still has the ear of the Republicans in Washington D.C. He is intelligent and articulate, and has an acute sense for the needs of the conservative agenda. Many thanks to FRC for allowing me to listen in.