It ought to be a somber moment when a man who was once a high-ranking member of the leadership of our nation’s Congress is convicted of a high crime for his actions while in office, and it would have been in a more innocent day. But on this day, I admit to being downright giddy that Tom DeLay—the Hammer—once my representative in the United States Congress—was nailed by a jury in Austin, Texas for violating our state’s election laws.
I don’t mean just that I was pleased because someone who broke the law was convicted of the offense; we all should take comfort when the system shows that the powerful are not above the law. I mean, I was gleeful to hear that this particular sanctimonious, obnoxious, slimy, dishonest bully was finally getting what he deserved. His wife and daughter seem to understand the seriousness of his predicament: not satisfied with mere victory at the polls, he engineered an illegal money-laundering plot to ensure partisan victory into the next generation—and that was before the Citizens United decision would have made it so easy to avoid prosecution for corrupting the process.
The guy who forced a redistricting of the just-completed redistricting in order to secure a Republican majority that was already without doubt, is now a convicted felon? Excellent. The guy who insisted that lobbying firms fire every Democrat on the payroll in order to play ball with the Republicans in power, will now carry the stain of criminality for the rest of his life? Perfect. The guy who threatened that judges would become political targets if they couldn’t see their way clear to ignore the law to advance his partisan agenda? Outstanding!
Sentencing comes in December so we don’t know yet if he’ll actually go to prison, but there’s hope, America…don’t give up hope.