Thursday, September 29, 2005

Tom DeLay: Reality Check News The indictment of Tom DeLay

"History shows that where ethics and economics come in conflict, victory is always with economics. Vested interests have never been known to have willingly divested themselves unless there was sufficient force to compel them." B. R. Ambedkar, founder of the Indian Constitution

Okay, I admit it, when I read the news about the DeLay indictment for conspiracy to violate state election laws I did a little mental happy dance. Yes! Thank you! It's about damn time!

Stuck with an administration and a Congress where so many powerful Republicans get away with so much corruption, it's time Our Side had a win. I know, I know, it's an indictment, not a conviction. But it's the tip of a deep, ugly iceberg -- which just hit the USS DeLay with a resounding crunch.

The denials and slams are coming as thick and fast as the betrayals did. From DeLay:

"I have done nothing wrong. ... I am innocent,"

The prosecutor is a "partisan fanatic."

This is "one of the weakest and most baseless indictments in American history."

"If the Democrats think we're going to go crawl in a hole and not accomplish our agenda, I wish they could have been a fly on the wall [of today's secret Republican leadership meeting]."
From DeLay spokesman Kevin Madden:
"They could not get Tom DeLay at the polls. They could not get Mr. DeLay on the House floor. Now they're trying to get him into the courtroom. This is not going to detract from the Republican agenda."
From House Speaker Dennis Hastert,
"He will fight this and we give him our utmost support."
And from Bush press secretary Scott McClellan, a somewhat more tempered response:
"Congressman DeLay is a good ally, a leader who we have worked closely with to get things done for the American people. I think the president's view is that we need to let the legal process work."
Of course they want to let the legal process work -- The Republican Way. Which means circling the wagons, shredding the documents, passing quickie rules and regs ... and the time-honored strategy of Deny, Ignore, Obfuscate, Hinder and Impede. Sounds like the quintessential Republican law firm.

Think I'm wrong? Consider last November--after a grand jury indicted three DeLay associates--when House Republican loyalists repealed a rule requiring any of their leaders to step down if indicted. Rightly concerned such blatant pandering to Power would cause a huge outcry from voters, the rule was reinstated in January.

Thank god for small favors. We the People might have more power than we think.

It's certain Tom DeLay has power. And he's abused it shamefully for far too long. DeLay is a hack. He's sleazy and easy and dirty and dangerous. He hides behind Christian Values while brazenly sullying a host of them.

And we're not nearly as stupid as DeLay and other right Wingnuts seem to believe. Christine Mick of Sugar Land, Texas voted for DeLay last year. Yesterday she said,
"I think they've got to make an example of somebody. You're representing the law of the country. You need to abide by it and you should be punished the same way everybody else is. There's still lots we don't know but I'm sure he's done something wrong."
The media and the blogosphere are having a field day with the DeLay indictment. And why not? He's been in our faces with his pious pronouncements and denouncements for so long, it's a pure pleasure to see him on the ropes. Here's one of my favorites, from Unconfirmed Sources.

And the Democratic Party, much to my surprise and applause, has shown no delay in pouncing on DeLay. They've gotten it all together quickly and completely ... all the facts, figures, places and faces. This back story is especially enlightening Jack and George's Bogus Adventure.

Better review your checkbook, Dr. Frist. You could be next.



Blogger Emily Santiago said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:19 AM  
Blogger David Goldenberg said...

Many years ago, as a teenager, I was introduced to Tom Dodd, Christopher's father, senator from the state of Connecticut, in his office at the Capitol in Washington D.C. It was the early 1960's and I was in junior high school.

I was mildly impressed, as young people are who are not yet jaded by events in their lives, and fairly naive about what's happening in their midst. My grandmother was an immigrant who was born in Manchester, England in 1905 while her parents waited for a boat to take them to New York. They had come from Latvia or Lithuania, I'll never know for sure. So at some point after grandma married grandpa in Minneapolis, and they moved to Hartford, CT, it became an issue that my grandmother needed to be an American citizen. I've never heard the details, but somehow through the years, Tom Dodd helped my grandmother straighten out her vague records and she was indeed a US citizen.

That's how my family gained entry to Senator Dodd's inner sanctum to be welcomed in Washington D.C. in 1964 by the elected politician himself.

Several years later, the Vietnam War was at its peak, and democratic Senator Dodd was still in favor of US military action in Vietnam. For whatever political or ethical reason, it came to the forefront that Dodd had used campaign funds for personal use, a major no-no and he was censured by the senate. He then ran as an independent in a race against Lowell Weicker, the popular moderate Republican, and Joe Duffy, the anti-War liberal democrat, for whom I spent a summer working, and Weicker became the next Senator from Connecticut. Weicker also worked hard to ramrod Nixon out of office as a pro-active member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and I was never sorry Duffy lost after that.

Dodd's offenses against the law were not legal, and were not admirable. But he was a typical old-line politician from the Democratic machine in Connecticut who really meant no harm by trying to cover some personal expenses with campaign funds which were not spent for the campaign anyway. I'm not excusing this as OK, but I do remember my grandmother saying, when Dodd was in big trouble, "We donated money to him, we didn't care what it was spent on."

The pundits today say this Delay business is the same old thing. Business as usual. What's new? That may be true, but when Tom Dodd spent campaign donations on personal expenses, he became a pariah in the senate, and his career never overcame the disgrace.

One can only hope, justice served, that the big hardcover book gets thrown at the congressman from Texas.

9:33 PM  

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