Tags: Hundreds | Gather | Honor | Tom | DeLay

Hundreds Gather to Honor Tom DeLay

Friday, 13 May 2005 12:00 AM

They praised DeLay for his uncompromising efforts on behalf of the Republicans' agenda on Capitol Hill, and even thanked God for DeLay, while outside, reports the Washington Times, several scattered groups of protesters stood on the sidewalk and called for Mr. DeLay to "come clean."

"The leadership of the conservative movement all of my life has prayed for a leader like Tom DeLay, and I'm here today to publicly thank God for answering my prayers," said Free Congress Foundation's Paul Weyrich.

"The message of tonight is, 'if they pick a fight with Tom DeLay, they pick a fight with all of us,' " said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

Sponsors of Thursday night's tribute say DeLay is the most effective GOP legislator in Congress, and they can't afford to lose him. "The reason why conservatives are sticking with DeLay is that he has always been for them on issues," says Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

Conservatives credit DeLay for grinding out close votes in the House on issues ranging from same-sex marriage to tax cuts in every year of the Bush presidency. They want him around to make those tax cuts permanent, rein in trial lawyers and the courts, and fight the culture wars. His tactics in a three-hour predawn vote on the Medicare prescription-drug bill earned a rebuke from the House ethics panel, but the bill became law.

It's that willingness to take political risks that makes DeLay so vital to conservative activists, and so perilous. His effectiveness in office is also important to the Bush White House. "With his ambitious legislative agenda, the president needs a strong majority leader to push that through," Amy Walter, who analyzes House races for the Cook Political Report, told the Christian Science Monitor.

For his part, DeLay was thankful for the honor, and vowed to keep fighting for conservatives in Congress, and against Democrats, who he said were losing ground, ideologically.

"We've spent 10 years making history while Democrat leaders have spent 10 years making noise," he told the audience.

"And you know what? Their rank-and-file members are starting to agree.

"Democrats around the country are growing more and more alienated every day because they see that the once-great party of Roosevelt and Kennedy has become the party of Howard Dean.

"Democrats are rejecting the bitter extremism of their leadership and embracing the commonsense reform agenda of the Republican majority."

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They praised DeLay for his uncompromising efforts on behalf of the Republicans' agenda on Capitol Hill, and even thanked God for DeLay, while outside, reports the Washington Times, several scattered groups of protesters stood on the sidewalk and called for Mr. DeLay to...
Hundreds,Gather,Honor,Tom,DeLay
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2005-00-13
Friday, 13 May 2005 12:00 AM
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