Monday, October 10, 2005

Off the Kuff: DeLay's defense

Off the Kuff: DeLay's defense

Well, it's pretty clear that Tom DeLay has been listening to the damage control experts, isn't it? He's got his attack points down, and he's got a little wind at his back now, thanks in part to the efforts of his defense attorney and in part to the nature of the latest indictment plus recent comments by the first grand jury's foreman. I don't think those things will amount to much in the long run, barring a ruling in favor of the defense on the motion to dismiss the indictments, which I also don't think will happen, but DeLay doesn't need much to work with to be effective.

Though he's talking about a different subject, I think Josh Marshall raises a point that's worth considering as the DeLay Defense sets up its perimeter.

We tend to think that the real key to a scandalee's fate is how many mobilize against him or her. Usually, though, the key issue is whether and how quickly they can find some committed group to mount a defense. If that happens, and quickly, a scandal equilibrium can be reached, and an embattled pol can often withstand merciless attacks and revelations. With no true base of support, however, a career can rapidly collapse even if the opposition itself isn't all that intense.

Obviously, DeLay has a sizeable base of support at this time. Very few people on his side of the aisle have said anything (on the record, at least) against him, and the activists are firmly in his corner. What I'm wondering is whether or not anyone prominent - say, Ken Mehlman or Roy Blunt - will take a turn on the talk show circuit to aid in DeLay's defense, or if the only person out there on TV doing the talking points thing will continue to be just DeLay himself.


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