Tom DeLay and Stephen Mansfield, No Retreat, No Surrender (New York: Sentinel, 2007), 189 pp., $25.95.
A SPECTER is haunting Americans-the specter of Tom DeLay.
DeLay has sought to remain a major voice among conservatives after stepping down from his role as House Majority Leader and, ultimately, from his Congressional seat. But his book, which is long on invective and self-justification but short on ideas, does little to advance either his personal cause or conservatism in general. The fundamental problem is that while DeLay tries to paint himself as a conservative, he looks much more like a revolutionary.
One can excuse some of his language, in that it is now commonplace to refer to the "Reagan Revolution" and "the Republican Revolution" of 1994. And while leaders in both cases sought to shrink government, lower taxes and implement other historically conservative values, DeLay seems to display only a zeal for political combat and little else. His ideological and semantic extremism, polarized and simplistic worldview, and confrontational style overshadow any elements of his personality or philosophy that could be called "conservative."