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(DV) Sanders: Is DeLay Morally Devoid?







Is DeLay Morally Devoid?
by Ken Sanders
July 28, 2005

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It was all I could do not to let out a guffaw when I heard House Majority Leader Tom "The Hammer" DeLay talk about the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) the other day. While discussing the Republicans' urgent need to pass CAFTA (in the name of national security, no less), DeLay remarked, without a touch of irony, "We find ourselves today with Democratic leaders browbeating members against voting their principles for politics sake."

DeLay's hypocritical self-righteousness is simply awe-inspiring. There he was, the man with such a penchant for browbeating that he is not-so-affectionately called "The Hammer," condemning Democrats for allegedly following his lead, albeit in a far less bludgeoning fashion. I mean, this is the guy who threatens to take committee seats away from fellow Republicans who, because of their damnable principles, won't vote the way he wants them to. DeLay has also been known to "primary" recalcitrant Republicans by actively recruiting primary opponents to run against them.

DeLay is the same character who employed the Federal Aviation Administration to help ramrod a congressional redistricting measure through the Texas House of Representatives. Desirous of gerrymandering Texas in Republicans' favor, DeLay ordered the FAA to track down some obstreperous Democratic members of the Texas house who had fled the state in order to deny the house a quorum. In response to an investigation by the House Ethics Committee, DeLay argued that his use of governmental resources for personal gain was entirely proper. The Ethics Committee admonished him anyway.

After subverting the Constitution in a failed effort to "save" Terri Schiavo, and in the wake of several high-profile violent crimes and death threats against judges, DeLay made some threats of his own. Outraged that "activist" judges in Florida allowed Schiavo's "murder," DeLay warned, "The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior." Just weeks before DeLay's ominous remarks, a judge in Atlanta and the husband and mother of a judge in Chicago were murdered. While DeLay later backed off of his implicit call to arms against the judiciary, he never apologized for his threat.

Talk about browbeating.

In fairness, however, DeLay is more than just "The Hammer." He can also employ a softer touch. Take, for instance, the energy bill (a.k.a., corporate giveaway) recently approved by the House. In a lovely bit of subterfuge, DeLay snuck a provision into the legislation after the conference committee was closed, thereby denying conferees the opportunity to consider the measure. The clandestine provision gives $1.5 billion (that's with a "b") to the oil industry, Halliburton, and Sugar Land, Texas. A full 75 percent of the $1.5 billion is earmarked for a private consortium located in DeLay's legislative district and is not subject to direct governmental oversight. It just so happens that Halliburton and Marathon Oil Company are members and on the board of the Sugar Land consortium likely to get the contract.

It is, of course, nothing new that Tom DeLay lacks any kind of moral compass. Tales of his corruption and abuse of power abound. Nonetheless, it never ceases to amaze how a man who professes to be born again in Christ and who never misses an opportunity to profess his own moral superiority, so consistently reveals himself to be utterly devoid of any sense of right and wrong.

Ken Sanders is a writer based in Tucson, Arizona. Visit his weblog at:

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