DeLay: Can’t Resist the Brag
Think Progress caught a Delay quote that I wanted to highlight, because it is so emblematic of DeLay in general: it’s his constant need to go for the big brag. Hyperbole, thy name is Tom. (And note that Time Magazine via Mike Allen has had this story since Monday, but had to hang onto it for a bit to secure the interview with the DeLays. How much would that have hurt as a reporter? Yowie.)
First of all, DeLay’s constant use of religion to cover his smarmy trail is disgusting. It has the oozy Jimmy Swaggart caught with a prostitute feel to it.
How much credit do you get for repenting if you only do it once you’ve been caught red-handed and threatened with prosecution? It’s fairly clear to me tha Allen was asked to bring up some of the religion angle in the interview with DeLay — there are some fairly straightforward questions about that. It seems to me that perhaps Tom DeLay is trying to butter up potential evangelical speaking engagements for his post-Congressional speaker’s fee career. (Have to pay your defense attorneys somehow…)
It’s really an extraordinary read. Mike Allen of Time got a great interview. There’s quite a bit about Texas election issues and DeLay stepping aside to make room for the appointment or election via a special election of a GOP successor for the seat — and a whole lot of discussion with Tom and Christine DeLay about little details between them in terms of politics. And then there’s this:
TIME: Do you think you did anything that made you more of a target for your critics? Do you think you made it easier for the opponents to —
DeLay: No. The opponents HATE what we do—what we have done in the last 11 years in the majority. We have built the largest political coalition of my adult lifetime. They hate that. We have been effective for 11 years going now, doing some pretty amazing things. They hate that. The reason we’ve been effective is we’ve tried to change the culture of Washington, D.C. And do it legally and ethically. The Democrats hate the fact that their culture of K Street has been changed from a totally dominated Democrat K Street [lobbying community]to a totally dominated Republican K Street. Nothing illegal about that at all. And we built that. When we took over in 1995, the K Street contributions to elections was 70/30—70 percent Democrat, 30 percent Republican. Today it’s 60/40—60 percent Republican and 40 percent Republican. That’s a change in culture. Democrats and the left hate that, and they have worked very hard to destroy it. (emphasis mine)
And the big brag comes into play. It’s that need to be the big fish, to play the tough guy, and for everyone to know about it that gets Tom DeLay in trouble. That current culture of corruption on KStreet was built by Republicans, with Tom DeLay’s leadership — that he admits it flat out, even brags about it, shows how far gone he already is.
When you live inside a corruption bubble, day in and day out, everything you do seems normal to you — no matter how illegal, how immoral or how unethical it may seem to everyday people. The fact that the Republican Party leadership and the rank and file in Congress and in the White House have simply rubber stamped this corrupt activity from the time they walked into the Congressional leadership and into the White House is emblamatic of the entire problem.
Corruption is what they do. And why they ought to be voted out of office for the good of the nation. Our government works best when we have checks and balances. Absolute power is a severely corrupting influence — go back and read DeLay’s brag about pressuring judges to vote his way or else, and tell me that power corruption in the Republican hierarchy doesn’t threaten our Constitutional structure.
When you have government divided among the political parties, you have incentive on both sides to watch the other — and thus, sunshine is invited into all the nooks and crannies. It’s not a perfect governmental system, but it does work remarkably well in terms of oversight. Here’s to a whole lot more sunshine.
You want accountability? Vote for a Democrat in 2006.
(And thanks to moeman for the reminder on this picture. You gotta have friends.)