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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

DeLay tactics

Tommy the Exterminator won one and lost another in his continued effort to justify the extortion that passes for fund-raising that has characterized his rise to prominence in the GOP.

A Texas judge has sided with DeLay in tossing out a conspiracy charge, the first indictment leveled against the former House Majority Leader for his fund-raising schemes to gain control of the Texas House so he could eventually add five more Republicans to Congress through a midstream redistricting.

This was the count DeLay ridiculed when Travis County prosecutor Ronnie Earle brought it earlier in the fall. But the follow-up counts brought by Earle were allowed to go to trial. Despite the gleeful spin of the DeLay spin machine, Tommy is still in deep trouble.

In a sign of the contempt this "lawmaker" holds the law, his attorneys argued there was nothing illegal because the law only applied to the use of corporate checks and not cash. Isn't that the kind of legal nitpicking Theocons love to accuse liberals of raising to an art form?

What's also troubling about this case is the naked partisanship of the Justice Department, revealed last week in overturning a ruling that called the redistricting gimmick was illegal.

We continue to see the "moral leaders" of the GOP being thoroughly blinded to the morality play taking place on Capitol Hill and the rest of the Bush empire: Duke Cunningham has already copped a plea to bribery; Scooter Libby is indicted and Karl Rove is by no means out of the woods for their roles in the Plame outing; Bill Frist is under investigation by the SEC and stands accused of playing favorites with HCA, the family business. And of course there's the whole Abramoff morass that seem likely to ensnare Bob Ney and, full circle, Tom DeLay.

So how do our moral leaders respond: when the going gets tough, Vice goes fund-raising. And the rest of the boyos react with "relief" that they won't be forced to reinstall DeLay into the majority leader's seat in January the way he wants.

What a wonderful way to run a country. Maybe this is what they have in mind for Iraq?


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