In my next life, I want to be Tom DeLay, the House majority leader.
Yes, I want to get almost the entire Republican side of the House of Representatives to bend its ethics rules just for me. I want to be able to twist the arms of House Republicans to repeal a rule that automatically requires party leaders to step down if they are indicted on a felony charge ‚Äö√Ñ√Æ something a Texas prosecutor is considering doing to DeLay because of corruption allegations.
But most of all, I want to have the gall to sully American democracy at a time when young American soldiers are fighting in Iraq so we can enjoy a law-based society here and, maybe, extend it to others. Yes, I want to be Tom DeLay. I want to wear a little American flag on my lapel in solidarity with the troops, while I besmirch every value they are dying for.
- Thomas L. Friedman
It’s been said (and Lord knows I’VE said it on multiple occasions) that Americans get exactly the quality of representation that they deserve. That being the case, and I believe it is, we are an exceedinly stupid and undemanding lot. How else can the voters of my district explain away Tom DeLay, the ethically- and morally-challenged House Hypeocrite-in-Chief…er, Majority Leader from Texas District 22- my district?
In DeLay we have a man who understands the symbolism of saying the right things and wearing his little American flag pin- while failing to grasp the true meaning of it. Of course, this does not matter to him, since all he truly cares about is his own personal self-aggrandizement and political empire building.
Tragically, the voters in my district were either too blind or stupid to recognize this truth, which is apparently blindingly obvious to everyone except those voters here in District 22.
There is nothing admirable about the hypocrisy with which DeLay conducts himself. In a world in which nothing matters save for the aggregation and consolidation of personal political power, anything goes- including using fallen American soldiers as props to support his own self-righteous self-aggrandizement.
If I can’t be Tom DeLay, then I want to be one of the gutless Republican House members who voted to twist the rules for DeLay out of fear that “the Hammer,” as they call him, might retaliate by taking away a coveted committee position or maybe a parking place.
Yes, I want to be a Republican House member. At a time when 180 of the 211 members of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Iraq who have been wounded in combat have insisted on returning to duty, I want to look my constituents and my kids in the eye and tell them that I voted to empty the House ethics rules because I was afraid of Tom DeLay.
Almost as bad as an unprincipled, self-absorbed troll such as DeLay claiming the mantle of morality and righteousness is the fact that his colleagues have neutered themselves in his presence. I’d almost be willing to bet that DeLay probably has an autographed copy of Machiavelli’s The Prince, and it’s likely the most dog-eared book in his library. He certainly has shown an affinity for Machiavelli’s methods, and to call Tom DeLay a modern-day Medici would not be far from the truth.
When it’s all (and only) about collecting political power, nothing else is allowed to get in the way. This is nothing to be proud of, but America has only itself to blame for this one. The voters of my District re-elected Tom DeLay, but the voters nationwide elected the milquetoasts who cower in his presence and live to satisfy his every whim, no matter how capricious. Nice going, America…you have EXACTLY the quality of leadership you deserve.