DELAY: 10 of spades
(CH, CS, B, CW) (what
do these signs mean?)
delay is a piece of work. Of all the Chicken
Hawks who now attack the patriotism of George
W. Bush's critics, DeLay came up with perhaps
the strangest reason why when given the chance, he did
not serve his country in uniform: minorities had taken
up all the spaces, and so he couldn't go. A breath taking
act of altruism for sure. Be still, my heart, at the
man's nobility. Or should it be "be still, my gut,
at the man's obscenity."? You decide.
has long been a mainstay in Tom DeLay's way of doing
things. When Clinton sent American forces into the Balkans,
to prevent genocide there, DeLay was among the loudest
critics. Americans were getting shot at and DeLay spoke
of "Clinton's war" and denied that a crisis
that could potentially lead to war between NATO allies
was important for American interests. Yet now, DeLay
denounces as unpatriotic any criticism of Bush, or concern
for his habit of lying when asked to give reasons for
self-righteousness could turn to gold, Tom DeLay might
become the world's richest man. Writing for the Washington
Post Magazine, Peter Berl reports that as he and DeLay
left the First Baptist Church, he asked the pious representative
"about the many citizens who would be quite uncomfortable
with the idea that he would mold the government in the
belief that his religion - fundamentalist Christianity
- had the only answers to society's problems.
looks me squarely in the eye and shakes his head sadly.
'When faced with the truth, the truth hurts. It is human
nature not to face that . . . People hate the messenger.
That's why they killed Christ.'"
The Washington Post
DeLay says he supports the Constitution, but perhaps
that is only because he never read it. For example,
in DeLay's views, public schools should teach Creationism
in their science classes, the government should display
the Ten Commandments, and should allow plenty of tax
exempt church electioneering - creating a privileged
class of politicos compared to the rest of us mere citizens.
speaks frequently at radical Right Christian gatherings,
such as "Worldview Weekend." There he announced
that God "is giving us this opportunity to change
our culture.... He is giving us grand and great opportunities
to stand up for Him, and He's giving it from the top,
the president of the United States, all the way to Pearland
[where the conference was being held]."
Foster, who also spoke at the gathering, was a bit more
blunt. "Do you want political dominion over America?
I do." Marshall's version of Christianity, like
DeLay's, is ultra-Fundamentalist, attacking even public
education as anti-Biblical. His ideal in American history
was the Puritan colonies which were famous for forbidding
any other version of Christianity than their own to
be practiced - to the point of exiling or executing
those who did not bow to the leaders' dictates. These
communities were also not democratic, but ruled over
by church leaders. (Church & State, June,
July 10, 2001, DeLay said he supports "standing
up and rebuking this notion that has been imposed upon
us over the last 40 or 50 years. You see, I don't believe
there is a separation of church and state." DeLay's
history is pretty bad, with the Supreme Court affirming
that a "wall" exists between the two constitutionally
as far back as 1879. That's over 100 years, Tom.
Jefferson would disagree. Compare his words to DeLay's.
In his Autobiography Jefferson described the process
by which the Virginia legislature finally passed a bill
for religious freedom, an accomplishment Jefferson thought
more important than his serving as President of the
the preamble declares that coercion is a departure
from the plan of the holy author of our religion,
an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word 'Jesus
Christ,' so that it should read, 'a departure from
the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;'
the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in
proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle
of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian
and the Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every
didn't write the Constitution. He only wrote the Declaration
of Independence. So let's look at James Madison, who
is often referred to as the "Father" of the
Constitution. Mardison wrote: "The number, the
industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the
devotion of the people have been manifestly increased
by the total separation of the Church from the State."
It can't be put much more clearly than that.
fact of the matter is that Tom DeLay neither understands
nor sympathizes with the principles that made this country
great. He is deeply and radically un-American.
DeLay is subverting more than the Constitution. The
most discerning of conservative Christians see that
he is also subverting religion. Cal Thomas, for example,
has put the point well:
personally don't want [the US] to be a Christian nation
for the same reason that I don't want the federal
government aiding the church. I think Bush's whole
faith-based initiative thing is one of the biggest
camel noses in the tent that I have seen in my life.
I wasn't aware that God declared bankruptcy under
Chapter 11. There is no mandate or expectation in
Scripture that the state should do the work of the
things of God.
so-called Christianity is so over the top that he warned
Texas parents not to send their children to Texas A&M
or Baylor because they did not teach Creationism. Baylor
is owned by the Southern Baptists, by the way. Compare
Jefferson and Madison's wise words with those of a man
who by no stretch of the imagination can be honestly
said to speak within the American tradition. He is a
man from the Dark Ages, a barbarian with access to discoveries
made possible by science and freedom, neither of which
he understands or would tolerate, if he had the power.
And he wants the power.
self-righteousness, hypocrisy, and ignorance we can
June, 2003, DeLay sabotaged $3.5 billion in tax credits
for the children of poor and low income families, about
12 million in all. He held assistance to them hostage,
demanding in return for letting the measure pass another
$78.5 billion in tax cuts for far more wealthy Americans,
who had already benefited from many previous tax cuts.
That tax cut didn't pass, and poor children, even of
tax paying parents, didn't get the cuts that went to
most other Americans, disproportionately the most wealthy.
compassion for the rich and disdain for the poor makes
sense when we understand what he expects in return from
those who are well off. Now that he is House Majority
Leader, and more influential than the Speaker, whom
he hopes to replace, DeLay can use his power to help
his allies and injure his opponents.
political action committee, ARMPAC, enables him to dole
out millions to his allies, buying support for crucial
votes. In 2000-2002 DeLay raised $12.8 million. That
buys a lot of influence. Because government is so big,
and so much money is at stake, large companies contribute
both to buy favors and to prevent being attacked. The
line between bribery and extortion is very hard to draw
in American politics today.
is an energy company whose CEO, David Wittig, wanted
more influence in government. Westar's management had
developed "a plan for participation to get a seat
at the table" by contributing to "a group
of candidates associated with Tom Delay [sic.], Billy
Tauzin [and] Joe Barton" for the purpose of inserting
the exemption into the bill. The plan detailed a schedule
of "hard" and "soft" money contributions
from Westar and its executives to influential Republicans.
The memos stated that Tauzin and Barton were "key
House Conferees on our legislation" and that DeLay's
"agreement is necessary before the House Conferees
can push the language we have in place in the House
bill." After making a $20,000 contribution, Westar's
preferred language was added to an energy bill.
memos are public because Westar's board of directors,
acting like a real board of directors instead of CEO
lapdogs, released hundreds of internal communications
implicating the company's top management in many fraudulent
and unethical activities.
was also a major contributor to Tom DeLay's slush fund.
They gave $140,000. It was a good investment. For example,
DeLay helped Enron muscle its way into a contract that
had already been awarded to a Japanese firm to build
a $120 million power plant for the Marianas. Enron got
the deal and the Marianas are still without the plant.
Crony capitalism, DeLay style.
no tax rebates to poor kids, rebates averaging under
$300 not a lot, but enough for some dental appointments
and maybe some school books. Poor kids don't make political
course Tom DeLay tells us that his "biblical worldview"
determines his political decisions. God "is using
me, all the time, everywhere, to stand up for biblical
worldview in everything that I do and everywhere I am."
self-righteousness, hypocrisy, ignorance and cruelty
we can now add pride. Louis XIV, one of France's most
despotic kings, is famous for his statement "L'etat
c'est moi" which in English is "I am the
state." This massive ego trip has now been duplicated
in America. In a downtown Washington, DC steak house,
DeLay was attending a fund raiser for ARMPAC. He wanted
to smoke a cigar while in the restaurant. The manager
told him he couldn't because they leased their space
from the federal government, and smoking in restaurants
was prohibited on federal property. DeLay reportedly
replied "I am the federal government." The
US is not France under Louis XIV, the manager stood
his ground, and DeLay had a small lesson in that American
principle of equality under the law. He went elsewhere