Tuesday, March 15, 2005

March 14, 2005

DeLaying Democracy

I hope all the Middle Eastern nations are not watching how the very folks lecturing them about fostering democracy over there treat our own democracy here at home. Even Lebanese/Syrian-stooge politicians would blush at the kind of behavior we can watch everyday lately in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

While the Republican majority is allegedly led by House Speaker, Dennis Hassert, the real power is Majority Leader, Tom DeLay of Sugarland, Texas.

It is hard to find a Middle Eastern pretend-legislature led by such a breathlessly ruthless and obvious thug as Tom “The Hammer” DeLay. If he had been born in Queens as Tom DeLessio he would have almost certainly risen quickly through the ranks of John Gotti’s gang – and probably taken it over.

Here’s a man who has turned on his own mother - literally. He has not spoken to mom in years. A reporter who followed DeLay around for month and interviewed DeLay's mother, wrote that his aging mother continues trying to contact her son but he will not return her calls. So she videotapes her son whenever he appears on TV because it's the only way she can see him. What a putz.

"The family thing is, is, uh, 54 years now, developing and, and at some point in time when you have a dysfunctional family, you either succumb to that dysfunction or you decide … that you need to be doing something else. ..at some point in time you just move on and, uh, try to create those relationships with other people, and keep moving forward. It's the way it goes." (DeLay when asked why he refuses to talk to either his brother or mother.)

So much for GOP “family values.”

Even the reason Tom DeLay got into politics is telling. Before coming to Congress he ran a bug extermination company in Sugarland. Then the EPA banned the insecticide DDT. It seems DDT was DeLay’s favorite bug killer and the ban, he believed, was an abuse of federal power. So he ran for an open congressional seat and won.

From that day forward DeLay’s new “bugs” became liberals in Congress. And, his ruthless pursuit of them has been unnervingly successful. Once a liberal-dominated hive, the House and Senate are now dominated by Republicans. And much of that success is because of Tom DeLay.

How did he do it? By perverting the very democratic processes his own party is now championing around the world. Want a recent example? Here:

“The House, facing new controversy about the travel of Majority Leader Tom DeLay and other lawmakers, was left last night with no mechanism for investigating improper behavior by its members when Democrats shut down the ethics committee by refusing to accept Republican rules changes that restrict the panel's power…. The committee met in secret for 2 1/2 hours. It was the first meeting since House Speaker J. Dennis Hassert (R-Ill.) replaced the chairman and two other members with lawmakers more loyal to the leadership. "These rules undermine the ability of the committee to do its job," Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (W.Va.), the panel's top Democrat, said in an interview after a 5 to 5 vote that stalemated action. "An ethics committee has to do a good job if it's going to do any job at all."” (Washington Post)

What happened? Are Dems just be obstructionist? Not this time. This time it’s all about abuse of power and the subversion of Ethics Committee rules. And, it’s all about payback GOP Godfather, Tom DeLay whose Valentine Day Massacre redistricting of Texas, and his strong-arm fundraising, helped his gang win majorities in both houses.

And their Godfather has been calling in those favors in his time of need, and The Hammer will not, cannot, be denied.

So, as Texas prosecutors investigating illegal corporate fund raising closed in on DeLay, and the Ethics Committee was presented with its fourth complaint about DeLay taking favors from corporations, foreign and domestic, rules had to be changed to protect him and his position.

First the GOP changed it’s own party’s rule that an indicted member must step down. The new rule says an indicted member must be convicted before having to step down.

Last night’s Ethic Committee flap came after House Speaker Hassert removed 2 GOP members who were squishy on protecting DeLay, replacing them with two new GOP members who are in hock up to their eyeballs to The Hammer and have even contributed to DeLay’s legal defense fund.

One more rule had to be changed to protect their patron. The Ethics Committee is split 50/50 between the two parties, five Republicans, five Democrats. Under the old, longstanding, rule, a deadlock vote on investigating a claim was the same as a majority vote for an investigation. The rule was a commonsense recognition that no party wants its own people investigated and always wants the other party investigated. So, a tie vote was a vote for investigating a claim.

The GOP majority decided that was not a good rule – for DeLay who had been investigated and admonished by the Ethics Committee three times already. So they turned that rule on its head. Now a tie vote is a vote for NO investigation.

Are you watching all this, Syria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia? What Republicans are trying to show you here is that you need not fear democracy. Because you can have it both ways – democracy and still run things anyway you want to. All you need to do is change the rules – democratically of course – whenever they are inconvenient.

Make no mistake about this. Tom DeLay runs the GOP-controlled House, just as surely and ruthlessly as John Gotti ran his mob family.

DeLay is the most corrupt and evil individual to hold so much national power in modern times. Even Joe McCarthy pales by comparison. DeLay is also a brilliant strategist -- and therefore the most dangerous.

Tom DeLay
In His Own Words

DeLay on causes of the Columbine High School massacre:
"Guns have little or nothing to do with juvenile violence. The causes of youth violence are working parents who put their kids into daycare, the teaching of evolution in the schools, and working mothers who take birth control pills."

DeLay on separation of church and state:
" I don't believe there is a separation of church and state. I think the Constitution is very clear. The only separation is that there will not be a government church."

DeLay on religion and public policy:
"Our entire system is built on the Judeo-Christian ethic, but it fell apart when we started denying God. If you stand up today and acknowledge God, they will try to destroy you... My mission is to bring us back to the Constitution and to Absolute Truth that has been manipulated and destroyed by a liberal worldview."
  • "People hate the messenger. That's why they killed Christ."
  • "Give me one example that proves evolution. One example! You can't."
DeLay on politics:
"George W. is really saying the same things we are, only we are saying them differently."

DeLay on Judges:
“The judges need to be intimidated, they need to uphold the Constitution. If they don't behave, we're going to go after them in a big way."

DeLay on DeLay:
  • "I look mean because I have squinty eyes and I get passionate. But it comes across as mean on camera."
  • "I am still trying to drive the president. I am not gonna sit back and let things happen."
  • "I wanted to be Speaker (of the House.) My ego did. And God did not want me to. It took me three or four days of praying and really thinking."

DeLay after returning from a tour of unregulated garment factories in the Marianas, which are a US protectorate:
Responding to a reporter’s question about accusations he supported “sweatshops” where Chinese immigrates were being exploited and where women who got pregnant were forced to have abortions:

“I toured those factories. They were air-conditioned. I didn’t see anyone sweating.”

(Editor's Note. I will not be filing on Monday. I'm taking the day off. You got a problem with that? Stephen "The Blogger" Pizzo.

By Stephen Pizzo
Raconteur at Large

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