02 April 2005

What did Tom DeLay mean?

Much is being said regarding the statement by the Republican leader in Congress, Tom DeLay. Republicans have been quick to distance themselves from their leader, and some have offered their own interpretations of the statement, trying to create a fictional account of Thursday's press conference. Let's go to the text:

"Mrs. Schiavo's death is a moral poverty and a legal tragedy. This loss happened because our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most, and that will change. The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today. Today we grieve, we pray, and we hope to God this fate never befalls another. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Schindlers and with Terri Schiavo's friends in this time of deep sorrow." (emphasis added)

OK. He was pandering. Actually that may be the most extreme case of pandering to the religious right that I can recall. It is, however, important that we read the text closely and accurately digest its meaning. This statement by the majority leader of the United States Congress is a declaration of war on the judiciary. For many years, conservative Republicans have had only one bogeyman who was more popular than trial lawyers and liberals ... that is activist judges. A primary goal of the Republican-controlled Congress and of the Bush administration has been to stack the federal judiciary with their own activist judges who adhere to a strict conservative ideology. Most recently, Senator Bill Frist (R-Tennessee), Republican leader in the U.S. Senate, has proposed a "nuclear option" to eliminate the centuries-old tradition of using the filibuster to protect minority rights so that the GOP could ram through their unqualified and philosophically extreme candidates for the bench. This battle is just the beginning.

We have seen the Republicans plotting their strategy for years. The statement by Tom DeLay upon the death of Terri Schiavo did not signal an "end." It was a "beginning." So be prepared my fellow freedom fighters ... the war has begun!


Blogger Mike said...

I think I remember reading that some Democrat in Congress wrote him a letter about that, basically saying that it's against the law to threaten a judge (6 years, if I remember correctly). That, of course, is for a physical threat, which it wouldn't be.

But there have been cases where people went after judges. Saying stuff like that encourages people to "take matters into their own hands."

You may want to try looking it up. Maybe not. I just thought it was relevant. Keep up the great work.

8:36:00 AM  
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