It is Keene's view that since those on "the left" can't win elections and need to vent their frustration somewhere, they decided to target DeLay mainly because he is such an effective leader.
As such, Keene comes to DeLay's defense
DeLay is far from perfect, but he's no criminal and one doubts if any of his colleagues really believes he's motivated by anything other than his strongly held principles and a desire to win. In fact, the argument that he's essentially a venal inside-the-Beltway operator is probably the weakest part of the left wing's case against him because, while one can picture him crossing the line to achieve his ideological objectives, it is impossible to visualize him doing so to make a buck.Keene just pretty much admitted that DeLay is a sleazeball who is so blinded by his ideological fervor and desire to win that it sometimes drives him to break rules, rig the system, and attempt to destroy his opposition.
But since he is doing so in the name of conservative "principle" rather than money, Keene seems to think that it is entirely commendable.
Keene would make a terrible defense attorney
"Your honor, I readily admit that my client is a vile, dishonest, contemptible swine - but in his defense, he is a principled one."
"Guilty on all charges, you say?"
"Hmmm ... that didn't work out quite as I had planned."