Quote: "You know how people talk about the captain being willing to go down with the ship? Well, in this case, it would have been the ship going down with the captain." Anonymous member of Congress in the L.A. Times.
Figure of Speech: chiasmus (key AS muss), the criss-cross figure.
Tom DeLay's career has hit an iceberg — the guilty plea of Jack Abramoff, crooked lobbyist and crony of the Hammer. The anonymous Republican uses our very favorite figure, the chiasmus, to sum up the situation: the impending DeLay scandal could have sunk the whole GOP leadership.
The chiasmus (the Greek letter "X") takes a phrase and plays it backwards. JFK used it in a speech — "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" — and thousands joined the Peace Corps. Who says figures aren't powerful?
Snappy Answer: "Could you keel-haul him first?"