From Jeffrey Goldberg’s great piece in The New Yorker, “The Republican Implosion,” comes this passage about the erstwhile exterminator who survives like a cockroach, Tom DeLay:
Earlier this year, he published a memoir called “No Retreat, No Surrender” (his spokeswoman says that he was not stealing from Bruce Springsteen, and that the phrase has been used many times throughout history, including by the Spartans and as the title of a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie), in which he claimed that as a young congressman he would on occasion drink ten to twelve Martinis at a time. In this period, he earned the nickname Hot Tub Tom. Then he found Jesus and, he said, stopped sinning. In the book, he freely confesses to committing adultery. “I had put my needs first,” he told me. “I was on the throne, not God. I had pushed God from His throne.”
Jeepers. I don’t believe I can concisely convey the depth of my belief that evoking a Jean-Claude Van Damme film in one’s defense is indicative of a huge, gaping, black void where one’s morals should be.
Ditto on claiming that finding Jesus means one stops sinning.
In the book, DeLay criticizes Gingrich for, among other things, conducting an affair with a Capitol Hill employee during the 1998 impeachment trial of Bill Clinton. (The woman later became Gingrich’s third wife.) “Yes, I don’t think that Newt could set a high moral standard, a high moral tone, during that moment,” DeLay said. “You can’t do that if you’re keeping secrets about your own adulterous affairs.” He added that the impeachment trial was another of his “proudest moments.” The difference between his own adultery and Gingrich’s, he said, “is that I was no longer committing adultery by that time, the impeachment trial. There’s a big difference.” He added, “Also, I had returned to Christ and repented my sins by that time.”
Tom DeLay: Pure as the Driven Snow Since the Mid-Nineties. Oh—except that one time.