[Editor's note: It must be noted that DeLay sported his Botox-like grin throughout the interview. That must take some training and practice, maintaining that spooky smile. Eeewwww.]
CM: What one reason would you give for your resignation?
TD: The Repulican majority. I worked a long time to build that, to help build it.
CM: Did you bet too much on the Party?
TD: No, I believe in the party. it's the party that will advance the conservative cause.
[Editor's note: Does it sometimes strike you that movement conservatives sound exactly like "true believers" -- e.g., communists, fascists, religious fanatics. "I pledge allegiance to the Party, and to the republic for which it stands; one exclusive Party, speaking for God, with a permanent majority in order to rule all."]
CM: Why wasn't the Pres more flattering when he announced your retirement? He quotes Bush's tepid acknowledgement of DeLay's resignation.
TD: (He looks really gratified, jubilant.) I thought he was very gracious on the phone. I was very proud of what he said. The Veep was very gracious on the phone. I think they have a little sadness about me leaving, but at the same time they're not shocked. They know I can do more outside the House than locked in a reelection campaign in Sugar Land, TX.
CM: Texas pastor Rick Scarorough said of you, "God always does his best work after a crucifixion." He said you were brought down by your faith.
TD: Those remarks were taken out of context. He's a great friend, and he understands what I've been through. My faith has been strengthened after these attacks. My faith in the Lord is stronger than ever.
I was a target of Dems for many reasons. We changed the culture of this town.
[Whoo boy! Changed it from a culture of "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow" to "Yesterday..."]
We changed the country, we changed the world. Dems hate that. They hate that what they believe in has been rejected by American voters. Hate that we did what we said we would do, turn the country back from 40 years of Dem control.
They just hate it and they zeroed in on me and announced publicly that they were going to destroy me personally, destroy my character.
[I don't think he meant to say that. No one can destroy another's character; only the possessor has that ability. In DeLay's case, I believe it's a case of "destroy my reputation, which is only the public perception that I have a good character, which I don't, as evidenced by the proof that I'm a rules-bending, law-breaking, greedy, manipulating power-mad politico."]
CM: There's a contradiction in your last statement. You said earlier you were fearful of losing another Repub seat. If you guys won your cultural battle, why are you concerned that the Dems would take back Congress?
TD: Every seat is precious to the Republican majority and this one is to my constituents. They deserve a Republican representing them, not a Democrat.
CM: Supoena power. What if the Democrats gain control of the House and Waxman, Conyers got control of it? Will they go after the President?
TD: Sure. They've been after him forever.
CM: You believe they'd try to impeach him?
TD: Of course they will.
They'll try to go for his head. More reasonable Dems will try to stop it, but you've gotta know these people. Conyers is the left of the left. They'll try to reverse every thing that we've done. I wanted, before the end of my career, to end abortion as we know it. But maybe I'll be able to do more on the outside.
CM: How can you do more outside the government?
TD: I have a lot of friends in the conservative movement who value my talents and listen to me. I think I can help unify that movement. I actually envy the Democrats because they work together. [All kinds of leftist movements] work together on this or that. We Republicans are fractured and always have been, mainly because we are individualists.
[Editor's note: Oh that's such a hoot I can't let it pass without mention. I usually don't comment on the obvious; my few (discriminating!) readers don't need me to point out what is evident on the surface. But this is one of those silly statements that are so often uttered by wingnuts ("We never indulge in personal attacks!") INDIVIDUALISTS? FRACTURED? After four years of near lock-step unity? Who on earth do you think you are fooling? I suppose it's evidence that DeLay, at least, believes Chris' audience is the 25% of Americans who get all their information from Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.]
CM: When you won't be able to offer government appointments, direct campaign contributions, etc.? What can you do on the outside that enforces your will? You won't be The Hammer any more.
TD: I never was a hammer. Because Dems use those kinds of methods, they assumed I did. I use the "row the boat" method.
[Editor's note: Oops, here comes my daughter needing help with her term paper. Darn. What's the "row the boat" method?]
Tags: Tom DeLay
, Chris Matthews