The followinng day when I posted a sampling of my glee on the Washington DC Craigslist political page, I was chastised by a reader for my schadenfreude. I should be ashamed of myself, this person suggested, for my calumny - expressing joy at the downfall of another human being. I'm sorry but whenever a criminal is punished for his crimes, it tends to put me in a pretty good humor - sort of like when they finally caught the Unabomber. I'm kind of funny that way.
When he was first indicted in 2006, he smiled when his mug shot was taken because, as he told reporters, “I wanted people to see Christ in my face”. I won’t tell you who I saw in that photograph but - trust me on this one, folks - it definitely wasn’t Jesus Christ. What has always enraged me about right wing politicians like DeLay is their exploitation of the Prince of Peace in order to inflict on people the most un-Christian policies imaginable. Quoting Christ while advocating a tax cut for a class of people who have more money than they will ever be able to spend is beyond grotesque, it's sacrilegious. They love to quote the Ten Commandments but, for some strange reason, they always steer clear of the Sermon on the Mount. Gee, I wonder why?
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."
Oh, right. That's why. Never mind.
It might take some time for old Tommy boy to be thrown in the slammer - if he's ever thrown in at all. He is sure to exhaust the appeals process to the limit and there's no reason to believe that some sympathetic, half-witted judge down in Travis County won't overturn the entire case. This will certainly happen if they can bring it before the Supremes. There is no doubt that the five reactionary assholes who voted in favor of Citizens United vs FEC last January will decide to spring the Hammer - as he was known in Washington back in the day. Technically at least, he is looking at a possible sentence of one-hundred years, which is not likely to happen - nor should it happen. As much as I detest the man, I do believe that a century in prison for violating Texas election laws is just a wee bit extreme if you ask me. I dunno, I guess I'm just an old bleeding heart, soft-on-crime kinda guy. Two to four years will teach the hideous little thug a lesson or two.
The irony of it all is the fact that the Supreme Court case of which I spoke earlier made the crime DeLay was convicted of pretty much legal, which is another reason to think that it might be overturned on appeal. Some brilliant legal "scholar" will decide that Citizens United vs FEC should be retroactive.
Oh, shit! Let's just admit the nasty truth. There are two sets of rules: One for them and one for us. He'll walk before he serves a day. Why am I forced to admit this? Because my luck has never gotten that good. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are the worst (though hardly the only) war criminals in American history. If there was any justice on this side of the eternal void, they both would be rotting in two separate eight-by-ten cells in Leavenworth, or (better yet) the same cell! But this is not a perfect world. Only the underprivileged are punished for their crimes. As Woody Guthrie once said, "Steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and they make you a king." Today both Bush and Cheney live in comfortable retirement.
"Nothing is more important in the face of a war than cutting taxes."
Therein lies the philosophical dysfunction of Tom DeLay and the party that he represents. They have never been able to comprehend the fact that it is a regulated system of progressive taxation that funds a healthy and vibrant society. At the end of the nineteenth century, there was a movement of crackpots who wanted to do away with all forms of government and taxation. One of their numbers, a man named Leon Czolgosz, would assassinate a president of the United States (William McKinley). Back in the day they were called "Anarchists". Today we call them "Conservatives". The more things change the more they stay the same.
Whether or not he ever serves a day in prison is irrelevant in the long run. The important thing to remember is that the political career of Tom DeLay is over. A major cancer has been removed from the body politic. We must grab our little blessings where we find them.
The Big Buy: How Tom DeLay Stole Congress
It's available for purchase on Amazon.com. Highly recommended.
HEY, KIDS! Here are some more jaw-droppingly stupid quotations from the distinguished convicted felon from Texas!
This is Tom DeLay explaining the massacre at Columbine High School in 1999:
"Guns have little or nothing to do with juvenile violence. The causes of youth violence are working parents who put their kids in daycare, the teaching of evolution in the schools, and working mothers who take birth control pills."
This is Tom DeLay explaining why he didn't fight in Vietnam:
"So many minority youths volunteered....that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like myself."
This is Tom DeLay on his job description:
"I am not a federal employee. I am a constitutional officer. My job is the Constitution of the United States. I am not a government employee. I am the Constitution."
This is Tom DeLay on why America had to invade Iraq:
"We're no longer a superpower. We're a super-duper power."
This is Tom DeLay talking to three young Katrina evacuees at the Astrodome in Houston:
"Now tell me the truth, boys. Is this kind of fun?"
Now tell me the truth, folks. Isn't Tom DeLay a hoot-and-a-half? Come to think of it, I'm gonna miss him!