Thursday, April 14, 2005

Go inside a dark, weird place: Tom DeLay's mind. DeLay says the Democrats don't want to see him exonerated. Maybe they don't want to see him let off the hook by an ethics process he rigged. Then check out his interview with the Washington Times when he decides that the majority Republican judges on the bench don't obey his orders and need to be put under Congressional command.DeLay says foes seek to shut ethics panel - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - April 14, 2005 Here's an update: Bill Frist has the votes needed to block Democrats from using the filibuster, which Democrats -- and traditionally, the minority party in Congress -- have used to block bad nominees to the judiciary and oppose majority party tyranny. He is scheduled to appear at an evangelical conference organized by James Dobson to denounce resistance to far-right judges and repealing the filibuster as an attack on "people of faith."
The New York Times has correctly noted: "Senator Frist and his backers want to take away the sole tool Democrats have for resisting the appointment of unqualified judges: the filibuster. This is not about a majority or even a significant number of Bush nominees; it's about a handful with fringe views or shaky qualifications. But Senator Frist is determined to get judges on the federal bench who are loyal to the Republican fringe and, he hopes, would accept a theocratic test on decisions."

Here's what another theocratic enforcer, Tom DeLay, believes about the judiciary:

DeLay: Look, I'm for an independent judiciary. I don't know where they get this. When you attack the left's legislative body, they get really upset. But I'm for an independent judiciary. I'm for an independent Congress. I'm for an independent executive. But the Constitution of the United States gives us responsibility for oversight and checks and balances over the executive as well as the judiciary. And we all know that this judiciary is extremely active. I have asked the Judiciary Committee to look at it and give recommendations as to what we ought to do. Read the book Men in Black [a far-right critique of judges run amok].

Mr. Dinan: You've been talking about going after activist judges since at least 1997. The [Terri] Schiavo case gives you a chance to do that, but you've recently said you blame Congress for not being zealous in oversight.

Mr. DeLay: Not zealous. I blame Congress over the last 50 to 100 years for not standing up and taking its responsibility given to it by the Constitution. The reason the judiciary has been able to impose a separation of church and state that's nowhere in the Constitution is that Congress didn't stop them. The reason we had judicial review is because Congress didn't stop them. The reason we had a right to privacy is because Congress didn't stop them.

Mr. Dinan: How can Congress stop them?

Mr. DeLay: There's all kinds of ways available to them.

Is DeLay hinting again at retaliating against judges?. Here's how the Center for Amreican Progress deconstructed his weak apology for threatening judges, with violence implicit in what he said:
ETHICS DeLay's 'Obscene' Apology
With his scorched earth strategy failing, Tom DeLay tried a new tactic to limit the political damage stemming from his threatening comments directed at federal judges. On March 31, the day of Terri Schiavo's death, DeLay said, "The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior." At a news conference yesterday, DeLay said those comments were made in an "inartful way," adding, "I shouldn't have said it that way, and I apologize for saying it that way." DeLay also expressed regret for failing to "explain it or clarify my remarks." He tried to explain away his remarks by noting he was "passionate, particularly the moment and the day that Terri Schiavo was starved to death." His contrition would be easier to accept if he hadn't spent the previous two weeks ruthlessly maligning anyone who questioned the appropriateness of his remarks or requested a clarification.
DELAY CALLS REQUEST FOR CLARIFICATION 'OBSCENE': The day of DeLay's remarks, Sen. Ted Kennedy issued a statement: "[A]t a time when emotions are running high, Mr. DeLay needs to make clear that he is not advocating violence against anyone." In response, DeLay's spokesman, Dan Allen, said that "[o]bjective observers know that Majority Leader DeLay was once again expressing his disappointment in how the courts clearly ignored the intent of the legislation that was passed. To suggest otherwise is simply obscene."

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