Rich Galen

Every cheesy horror flick ever filmed has a scene where the guy you thought had already been killed via the stake-through-the-heart route pops up in front of the window, or out of the bathtub, or from behind the closet door, causing you to jump out of your seat.

Over the past 24 hours I've felt I have been stuck on Elm Street unable to escape the image of Tom DeLay.

TV interviews. Newspaper interviews. An Internet web site. www.tomdelay.com which is ... a blog.

As if I'm going to wake up 15 minutes earlier every morning just to see what Tom DeLay is thinking about. To quote from the Borat movie: Not.

Dear Mr. Mullings:

Don't you write a blog? Don't you expect ME to wake up every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday? Aren't you being, what we call, a Hippo-crit?

I'm glad you asked that. A blog is of indeterminate length, published on at random. MULLINGS is an Internet column. It is of standard newspaper column length - about 750 words - and is published on a regular schedule.

Yeah. Well. Still.

As we have discussed here before, Tom DeLay became Majority Whip in 1995 when Newt became Speaker by convincing his colleagues that someone had to be a check on Newt's total control of the Republican Conference and the House.

When Newt left after the modestly (by current standards) disappointing election of 1998, Dennis Hastert became Speaker and DeLay moved up to Majority Leader.

Hastert is many things: A fine person. A nice guy. A good fundraiser. But, he is not a disciplinarian. Hastert was uncomfortable calling a Member in, wagging his finger in his colleague's face, and laying down the law.

Tom DeLay lived for those encounters.

DeLay reveled in the nickname "The Hammer." He established the now-infamous "K-Street Project" in which he browbeat lobbying firms and associations into hiring Republicans to replace and supplant the Democrats who had - because of the 40-year run of Democratic control of the House - owned those jobs.

I never thought there was anything particularly wrong with the K-Street Project. I, however, thought it would have worked just as well without DeLay and his staff crowing about its successes and publicly glowering at firms which defied them.

Dennis Hastert was so in the thrall of Tom DeLay that when DeLay was indicted by a county prosecutor in Austin, Texas Hastert tried to change the Republican (not House) rule that a Member who was under indictment had to resign from any leadership role.

I don't know that DeLay is guilty of anything. I DO know that the politics of the thing required him to get out of the way.

Hastert tried to have the rule changed to say you had to be under a FEDERAL indictment to have to resign, but the public outcry proved to be too much and DeLay had to give up his role as Majority Leader.

Temporarily, he thought.

After a bunch of fits and starts, things got worse and worse. The House needed a permanent Majority Leader. A vote was taken, and John Boehner of Ohio beat Blunt officially succeeding DeLay as Leader.

DeLay resigned from the House in June, 2006 and many in Washington thought that was that.

Now DeLay is, in essence, claiming that because he was not a Member of the House at the exact moment when the Democrats seized control, he was not responsible and is offering himself up to be the man who can guide the GOP back into power.

As much as anyone Tom DeLay is responsible for the demise of Republican control of the House and it is difficult for me to see how he can lead them back. Blog or not.

On MSNBC's "Hardball" the other night, Tom DeLay admitted he doesn't actually write his blog. He told guest host Mike Barnicle:

"Well, I'm not a very good writer. I have the ideas, and I have somebody else put the words together."

This is absolutely typical of Tom DeLay: He went on television to announce the launch of his blog and then had to admit … he doesn't write it.

Tom DeLay. Freddy Kruger. Recurring Nightmares.

On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Not much. A Mullfoto which is actually two Time Magazine covers (which will annoy you) and a Catchy Caption of the Day (which will confound you).


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.