Mark Liebovich writes in today's Washington Post that a "heaping helping of devotion" was served up at the American Conservative Union's tribute to Tom DeLay last night. Only about 30 Republican House members were in attendance as guest dined on chocolate hammers and speakers "skewered" Democrats and members of the news media.
"Liberals and the news media served as the evening's recurring boogeymen and foils, no surprise given that DeLay and his defenders have repeatedly blamed this unholy duo for the ethical issues that loom over him," Liebovich writes.
Or maybe it's his lack of ethics that have led to his recent troubles? Just a thought.
In his speech, DeLay thanked the event hosts, speakers, his family, and his wife Christine, who stood by him "even back in the days, 20 years ago, when I made a lot of mistakes and was a self-centered jerk."
Twenty years ago, huh?
Chuck Lindell of the Austin American-Statesman compared the relative warmth of the crowd inside the Capitol Hilton to the chilly reception DeLay received from people on the street.
"More than 40 protesters greeted arrivals with signs with messages such as 'Feed the needy, not the greedy' and 'DeLay is '$lime.' Sidewalk performers, billed as the Carnival o' Corruption invited passers-by to spin a wheel to see which alleged ethical lapse would pop up next. Would it be quid pro quo?Associates charged with money laundering? Ethics committee violations?," Lindell writes.
"No ethics? No problem," called out a tuxedo-clad Kenneth Mayer, performingas
Ivan Tital of the Billionaires for Bush satirical troupe. "If you outlawbuying
politicians, only outlaws will own politicians," he added.
Tom Hamburger of the LA Times also wrote up the festive atmosphere outside the party.
"Demonstrators set up a balloon-laden 'wheel of corruption mocking DeLay's relationship with lobbyists and his foreign trips," Hamburger writes. "A young woman handed out bars of soap to arriving dinner guests, asking them to 'Clean up Congress.'
Anne Kornblut writes in the New York Times wrote that while DeLay barely mentioned the recent ethical controversies that have swirled around him, several of the speakers were more direct in their message.
"Tom, please hang in there," said former North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms.
David Keene of the sponsoring organization American Conservative Union said: "We are conservative, we are proud of our leaders, we stand with our own, and none of us are going away anytime soon."
He forgot to add, "Well, except maybe Scotland. Or the Marianas. I hear Puerto Rico is lovely this time of year..."