Last week, many Republicans got a shock with their morning coffee. There was the pixilated bust of Tom Delay. Dead center on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, along with the words, “Smells like Beltway.”
The House Majority leader is a Texas Congressman who earned the nickname “the Hammer” for his habit of coming down hard on anything or anyone that gets in the way of his Conservative Republican principles.
The editorial was a surprise. It was the first public expression of what some say is a growing private sentiment among Republicans — that Tom Delay’s ethical troubles are hurting the party and giving Democrats a new political lease on life. Delay supporters brush off such criticism saying a good fight will only strengthen their man. So will the hammer come down?
Lou Dubose, author of “The Hammer: God, Money and the Rise of the Republican Congress”
Whit Ayres, Republican pollster
Morton Blackwell, conservative Republican activist