We knew Tom DeLay was leaving Congress this week. But we didn’t think he’d be so French about it.

Yes, tonight Texas Republicans will be toasting their former majority leader at Le Paradou, billed as “DC’s finest contemporary French restaurant.”

We suggest he dines on the caged quail (specially shot by Dick Cheney). Maybe he can ask Jean Marie Le Pen for a good red.

DeLay once excelled at the time-honored profession of mocking the French. He began speeches during the 2004 campaign by saying: “Good afternoon, or, as John Kerry might say, ‘Bonjour.'” When Senator Tom Daschle criticized President Bush’s cowboy diplomacy, DeLay responded: “Fermez la bouche, Monsier Daschle.”

Rough translation: shut up.

But now The Hammer is returning to his roots. Asked about the restaurant selection, DeLay’s spokeswoman quipped, “I trust that you know Mr. DeLay is French.”

Bon Appetite! And, from the bottom of our hearts, Au Revoir!