Saturday, April 02, 2005


Tom DeLay, The Human Anvil

Josh Marshall manages to put cleanly into words a concept that other folks have hinted at, and which I have suspected: That by ordering the Republican members of the House to stand by him or else face unspecified consequences (probably loss of committee posts, coupled with facing well-funded GOP primary opponents), DeLay is playing into the hands of those of us who want to make sure that when people look at the GOP House Caucus, they see Tom DeLay's face. Remember, the Standard Operational Procedure of the Republicans has been to keep Tom DeLay's face from having a high profile outside of the religio-racist right circuit, wherein he is looked upon as Jesus' little brother. They know that too much of DeLay in the national media tends to frighten Joe and Jane Normal, so they keep him at arm's length most of the time, especially during election seasons. But now, as he thrashes like a shark hooked to Ronnie Earle's 400-pound test leader, his panic at the doom he has failed to avert is causing him to do extremely stupid things. First, in order to keep the Fundies on his side, he literally ordered Congress back from recess in order to pass an unconstitutional bill of attainder that Randall Terry had shoved into his hands. Well, he may have kept Randall Terry happy, but he pissed off everyone else -- including 68% of the evangelicals polled. Furthermore, the tarnish spread from DeLay to the rest of the GOP House Caucus. This was a disaster of the first water. Second, he was caught on tape saying why he took up Randall Terry's cause -- namely, the continued harrassment of Michael Schiavo for daring to pull the feeding tube that kept his wife's cerebrum-less body going -- and boasting about using the body of Michael Schiavo's PVS wife as a shield. Third, after Michael's wife's heart finally stopped beating, DeLay, seeking to score more points with the Operation Rescue extremist clinic-bombing set, ranted about Those Evil Liberal Activist Judges Who Killed Poor Terri (oh, you mean like Nino Scalia, Tom?) and the alleged need to go after them -- but used such intemperate language that, as Senator Frank Lautenberg points out, he's probably violated a few laws in doing so. The harder DeLay embraces the Clinic Bombers, the worse he is for other Republicans to be around. But he's forcing them to embrace his corrupt, Fundy-appeasing, crazy carcass, and with any luck, when he goes down, he will be an anvil that pulls down about ten or twenty GOP House members with him next year.

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