In thinking about the situation involving our good republican friend Tom DeLay, I found nice passage by Melville that addresses his situation quite elloquently. From page 114 of my copy of Moby Dick:
"Men may seem detestable as joint stock-companies and nations; knaves, fools, and murderers there may be; men may have mean and meagre faces; but man, in the ideal, is so noble and so sparkling, such a grand and glowing creature, that over any ignominious blemish in him as his fellows should run to throw their costliest robes. That immaculate manliness we feel within ourselves, so far within us, that it remains intact through all the outer character seem gone; bleeds with keenest anguish at the undraped spectacle of a valor-ruined man. Nor can piety itself, at such a shameful sight, completely stifle her upbraidings against the permitting stars."