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The Hammer to the Slammer
  by Eric Alterman

"I'm nuts about breaking the law!"


Five years after he was indicted, former "Dancing with the Stars," hoofer, Tom DeLay is finally
facing slammer time. So far, so good, though we must admit, it is a bit hard to believe. DeLay was
convicted of violating campaign finance laws that are so arcane, complex and laxly enforced that it is
easier to get yourself booked on Oprah.  Finally, thanks to the good people of the Austin jury pool,
liberals have something for which to be thankful this Thanksgiving: schadenfreude.

Delay is calling it "an abuse of power … a miscarriage of justice …the criminalization of politics
undermines our very system." This is music to liberal ears. As House Majority Leader, DeLay ruled
his roost with an iron fist that makes Nancy Pelosi look like Mary Poppins. The Republicans, in those
days, thought they could get away with anything. During one vote, DeLay as majority leader, told
Congressman Nick Smith, Republican of Michigan, whose son was running for his office, that a switch
of his vote from "nay" to "yea" would be worth $100,000 to his son's campaign from "business interests,"
according to Smith's original recollection. This would be a felony if true. But after Smith refused the offer,
he recanted. Though this was Boy Scout stuff compared to the time, during the Terri Schiavo case when
DeLay promised, Don Corleone-style, "The time will come for the men responsible for this to pay for
their behavior." What, exactly, was he implying?

They say the judge could give DeLay anywhere from probation to life in prison.

If there was any justice in this world (Isn't that a stupid way to start a sentence?) the
Dancing Cockroach would get the full sentence because he's obviously not sorry for his crimes.

He keeps claiming that he's innocent and the systen is rigged and that the prosecutors
and the judge were either crooked or merely biased against him - he should pay for that.

If politicians never go to jail for their crimes,
what motivation does a GOP crook have for obeying the law?


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