Some of you may remember my column last semester on Tom DeLay’s brazen hypocrisy and opportunism regarding the Terri Schiavo fiasco last semester. Now, as we all know, Schiavo was in the unfortunate position of being caught in a tug-of-war between her husband and her kin, all while being surrounded by a media circus of unprecedented proportions-O.J. Simpson wishes he could have gotten this kind of coverage. As if this wasn’t enough, George W. Bush and his band of congressional no-goods arrived on the scene to use Schiavo as fuel for the ever-blazing fire involving God, morality and “judicial activism” in this country.
Helming Bush’s team was former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.). DeLay used the three magic terms: “culture of life,” “Congress needs to act” and “those damn judges don’t rule the way we want them to!”, to try and push legislation that would attempt to let Congress dictate to the Courts what to do… I guess it’s not enough to control both the White House and Congress. It seems DeLay thinks checks and balances should be thrown out the window, as long as we can stop a feeding tube from being removed (this, despite the fact that DeLay himself pulled the plug on his own dying father years before the Schiavo case). I guess DeLay finds his own honesty and integrity just as disposable as that of the Courts.
Fortunately, Tom DeLay finally seems to be getting his just deserves. Of course, brash hypocrisy and complete disrespect for the judicial branch aren’t usually punishable by law (unless you’re Bill Clinton, in the case of the former), so any missteps that will actually make a difference will naturally have to be more concrete in nature. Well, wait no more, friends-our man of the hour, Tom DeLay, was recently indicted with not only one charge of conspiracy involving the use of corporate money to fund certain Texas congressional candidates (not exactly legal in his home state), but also two additional charges related to money laundering (This is almost too good)! Whether or not he’ll go to jail for this is a question that won’t be answered for a long time, but he did step down from his position of House Majority Leader, and it’s about damn time.
Granted, DeLay breaking a fundraising law isn’t that big a deal, relatively speaking-not if you compare it to his other shortcomings, the most prominent of which I just discussed in detail. If anything, DeLay’s not only paying for throwing money around, but also his own bad karma has come full-circle and dealt a major blow to him. Now, all that needs to happen for poetic justice to truly be served is a huge tanking in the ratings of the big cable media outlets for blowing the Schiavo story way out of proportion at the expense of Schiavo’s dignity, her family’s sanity and her husband’s reputation. But then again, the media is unlikely to take a blow if the karma police haven’t punished them for dumping soap operas, Sean Hannity or The Simple Life on the airwaves yet.
To DeLay’s credit, it could have been a lot worse. Imagine if Pat Robertson was the House Majority Leader.
Jay Rooney can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.