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May 24, 2004

Armey Vs DeLay

There's a great article over in today's Salon magazine. Get a day pass and read it. I am taking this as insight to things that have gone before I was anywhere close to the Republican party. It is a very valuable history for me, and I think it will be for many.

The link is here.

Armey's stature as a former House leader lends his critique special weight. But most remarkable is that he is willing to make it at all. While many House conservatives say privately that they feel helpless in sticking up for their principles in the face of ruthless intimidation from the Bush White House and DeLay, few have dared to speak as boldly as Armey has. DeLay, who is known as "The Hammer" for his ability to pound Republicans into supporting the party line, doesn't just discourage dissent, he beats it to a pulp. And the "with us or against us" mentality, once directed only toward terrorists and Democrats, is increasingly targeting conservative dissenters as well.

During last fall's battle over Medicare prescription drug benefits, for example, DeLay engaged Stuart Butler, a vice president of the conservative Heritage Foundation, in an oddly personal debate at a meeting of the Republican Study Committee, a group of 50 House conservatives. DeLay ridiculed the venerable think tank's research as uninformed. (Its insistence that the Bush administration was low-balling the bill's costs turned out to be correct.) His attacks were so aggressive -- "name-calling," as one attendee described it -- that many Republicans left muttering that DeLay had crossed a line.

Bottom line, is I'm an Armey man, and I look forward to the day when this showdown breaks loose. I've heard positive things said by black conservatives about Armey and I have also heard that DeLay's intolerance was a main reason that JC Watts hit the bricks. Picking sides won't be difficult at all.

Posted by mbowen at May 24, 2004 12:37 PM

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