Hulse With No Name

Why can't Carl Hulse call a liberal a liberal? Tom DeLay's new book confronts "evil liberal tormentors," but Hulse only sees "critics" and "activists" arrayed against DeLay.

On Sunday, Times reporter Carl Hulse reported on the forthcoming book by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. The headline winked at the reader: "DeLay Sees the Reason for His Party's Loss (and, No, It Was Not Him)."Typically, Hulse can't use the L-word to describe DeLay's liberal enemies. He does note in his new book from the conservative Sentinel imprint, DeLay casts the Democrats as "evil liberal tormentors," but Hulse describes them in the usual terms, as mere "critics" and members of an "activist group that monitors" Texas Republicans.

Mr. Delay's 179-page memoir is already infuriating critics who say he has never recognized his own misconduct, how his style of politics contributed to a deterioration in House standards and the degree to which his troubles consumed House Republicans in a tough election year. One critic, Matt Angle, director of the Lone Star Project, an activist group that monitors Texas Republicans, said that in sharp contrast to the book's title, Mr. DeLay left Congress when it appeared he would have to fight for his political survival.

"DeLay titling his new book 'No Retreat, No Surrender' is like Jack Abramoff calling his memoirs 'Ethics and Honesty,' " Mr. Angle said this week. He was referring to the jailed lobbyist who had ties to Mr. DeLay.

Hulse doesn't explain Matt Angle's reasons for seeking DeLay's political destruction. The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza unveiled some of that information a year ago:

A longtime political operative for Texas Democratic Rep. Martin Frost, Angle watched as Republicans rejiggered Frost's Dallas-area 24th District two years ago, forcing the powerful Democratic lawmaker to choose one of several unsavory districts in which to seek reelection in 2004. Frost ultimately chose the 32nd, which was held by Rep. Pete Sessions (R). In the most costly House election of 2004 (more than $9 million was spent by just the two candidates), Frost was defeated Frost was defeated 54 percent to 44 percent - one of four Texas Democrats to lose House seats in November 2004 (one other switched parties, and another retired).

On the outside looking in for the first time in more than two decades, Angle decided to form the Lone Star Project in early 2005, a federal political action committee that would serve as a fact-checker on the Republican Party on both the state and national levels.

It will be fun to see if DeLay's memoir mentions the Times, as when he notes "media-fed" issues (Mark Foley, anyone?) in the fall of 2006 helped cause the House GOP's decline. Hulse wouldn't leave that out, would he?