Criminalization of Politics and the Scourge of Tom DeLay

I cannot help but notice the overwhelming silence from the GOP on the matter of ex-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's prosecution and trial. Ever since he was forced to step down back in 2005, he has been in a kind of limbo or worse. Two things stand out to me:

  1. He was extremely focused and effective in his efforts -- none of which benefited him personally but which benefited his party and his state immensely.
  2. His success has earned him the abandonment of his party's members. No one says a peep about him. He may as well have dropped off the face of the earth and into purgatory.

I have to wonder: Is this what party loyalty brings? If so, then why would anybody in his right mind want to make the effort for the Republican Party?

Has the GOP become the party of second-class, unprotected "outcastes"? "Citizen" isn't really a term that fits for a group whose inclusion in society depends upon their not criticizing (yea, not even questioning) their betters -- those in the liberal Ruling Class who own Washington, D.C.

And these Republicans cannot find it in themselves to speak kindly of a man who has done so much -- more than most -- for their cause. And why? For nothing but fear that the media will take aim at them for standing up for a colleague who is "questionable."

Any party that doesn't protect and defend its members, but instead allows them be picked off one at a time by the opposition -- how long can such a party expect to exist?

Much is made of the concept of American exceptionalism. But it is the individual -- not the group -- who excels. Only an individual can make a meaningful contribution to the group, and yet the individual is the one most vulnerable to being taken advantage of and abused by the group, often simply for being so exceptional.

Illegal to be a Republican?

Does being a registered Republican cause unforeseen problems in 21st-century America? Ask GM dealers across the country who lost their dealerships. Ask people whose banks have dropped or changed the terms of their loans for no apparent reason. The ranks of independent voters have burgeoned dramatically of late. Is there some stigma connected with being a Republican that makes being an independent that much more attractive?

Based on the evidence, I would say the answer is yes. And I'd bet fifty cents that independents and Republicans alike would agree there is a double standard -- a kind of political dhimmitude, if you will -- of one set of laws for the believers of the liberal worldview and another for those foolish enough to think the U.S. Constitution has any merit or relevance whatsoever anymore.

I spoke to one of my friends who has long been involved in Texas politics regarding DeLay's case. My friend said, "The campaign finance laws were written vaguely by Dems so they had plenty of wiggle room. They've been driving eighteen-wheelers through those loopholes for a long time" -- though it was clear that someone would get collared one day and have to pay the piper in court. It's curious that it didn't happen until someone with an R behind his name did the same thing.

What really went down

How many Republicans even know if what Tom DeLay did was illegal in the first place?

On Wednesday's show, Mark Levin had Tom DeLay's lawyer on as a guest.

Dick Deguerin explained (and I summarize): Texas Republican Majority PAC (TRMPAC) took in $1.5M, half of which was personal donations, half corporate. Seven hundred thousand dollars' worth of corporate donations was there to pay for operations, but $200K was left over after expenses. That excess was sent to the RNC, which later sent back $190K worth of personal donations (which had been collected from around the country) to help Republican candidates in Texas.

This information was available for anyone to see. Activists in Austin learned of the transactions -- which are common practice among Democrats. The problem was that Tom DeLay was a Republican, and an effective Republican -- so effective that he made the Texas House majority Republican for the first time in over a hundred years. The left just couldn't tolerate the defeat. After howling and gnashing their teeth, they got to work to bring "The Hammer" down.

So what happens now? "We'll appeal. There's been no crime." Mark Levin then asked his guest, the counsel for DeLay, point-blank: "You're a Democrat too, aren't you?" Deguirin laughed nervously. I don't recall him actually saying yes, but he asserted that he was not a partisan Democrat. Levin remarked, "This case really upsets you. Everything appears that the way it was done was legit."

"We tried to follow the law." I'll bet he did, indeed. Too bad Democrats and the liberal trial lawyers who run them are trying to convince us that it's illegal to even be a Republican in America.

During the break, Andrew C. McCarthy, who prosecuted the "Blind Sheik" in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, e-mailed Mark: "How can it be money laundering? The proceeds have to be the result of a crime."

This thing has so many holes in it that anyone can see through them.

Levin said, "The media created a monster out of Tom DeLay." Levin described his meeting with the man -- what a quiet, soft-spoken, family-loving, religious guy he was in real life. Levin told DeLay how sorry he was that all this was happening to him, to which DeLay replied, "With the help of the good Lord, we'll get this matter resolved properly."

Levin finally said, "Whether you agree with everything he did is beside the point. He doesn't deserve this."

What say you, O GOP?

Here is where to send money to help The Hammer. He's broke, in case you didn't know:

Tom DeLay Defense Fund
800 Commerce Street
Houston, Texas  77002

Like many observers, I believe Tom DeLay will prevail on appeal. But in many ways, the damage has already been done. Democrats in Washington hounded him with frivolous lawsuits, including a ridiculous racketeering charge, even before a partisan local prosecutor initiated the action decided last week. DeLay was forced to give up his seat in Congress and has reportedly spent $8 million to defend his freedom.
- John Doolittle,
Daily Caller, "The growing criminalization of American politics"

Sibyl West blogs at