Tom Delay agreed today to step down as Majority Leader in the House of Representatives. As a nation driven to sickness by the putrid stench of GOP corruption takes a moment to breathe clean air again it is important that we recognize that Tom Delay is merely the poster child of the party of corruption. Delay was certainly the most arrogant, declaring once "I am the constitution" but he is only a symptom; a part of a larger cancer, eating away at the soul of this once mighty nation. Under indictment already in Texas and now seeing his close buddy Jack Abramoff start singing to prosecutors, Delay simply was doing what needed to be done for the GOP. The strategy now is for the GOP to convince America that everyone is corrupt. They need to turn the GOP problem, into a bipartisan problem.
This does not mean that the democrats are immune to corruption, far from it. Here however is the concept you must remember when entering the voting booth this fall, only ONE party is in complete control. Only ONE party has had complete control of Congress and the executive branch for many years now. What do we have to show for it America? Rampant, disgusting corruption. We have Randy Cunningham thinking nothing of taking yachts and cash as part of millions of dollars in bribes. We now have Jack Abramoff thinking nothing of bribing congressmen, creating fake charities to fly your elected officials to Scotland for golf. We have a president that thinks he is King. The constitution is becoming a passe' concept. The arrogance of the party of corruption was no clearer than last week when George Bush signed the anti-torture legislation, held a photo-op to assure us he was against torture, and then immediately attached a rider, claiming he could overrule the law if he felt he needed to. Do you get that America? The president is charged with enforcing the laws of the land, not deciding which ones he will adhere to. Yet there he was telling America, "screw you, I'll torture anyone I damn well please."
This year presents America with an opportunity to start correcting the damage that has been done to this country over the past five years. It allows us restore checks and balances to our government. The GOP will have a two prong strategy to maintain control. First, they will minimize all of the corruption in Congress, as "business as usual" and secondly, they will insist that both parties are corrupt. This strategy is designed to distract America from the truth that in this ownership society, the GOP owns the corruption.
Similarly, this culture is not bipartisan. Only one party has been in complete control for the past several years. The Republicans not only have been in complete control, they flaunt it. They do not play nice with the minority party. They lock them out of negotiations. They do not allow them to participate in the processes of Congress. Now, when faced with corruption after corruption, they want to share? No thanks. Don't you believe it America. Jack Abramoff himself has been quoted as saying it is not his job to play nice with democrats but to ensure they never come back to power.
Don't believe the spin America. There is only one party that has been in control for the past several years. The Republicans will try their best to convince you that this is just business as usual and a bipartisan phenomenon. Nonsense. It is a result of having absolute power. The saying is that absolute power corrupts absolutely. The Republican Party exemplifies that today. Drunk with power and arrogance, they have ruled Washington DC with an iron fist for years now. In doing so, they have flaunted their power and snubbed their collective noses at the American people for too long now. When the Downing Street Memos came to light, they were buried by the GOP Congress. When the oil executives testified before congress, it was the GOP that refused to allow them to be sworn in. It is this kind of hubris that has ruled Washington for too long now. It is the arrogance that has brought us the outing of a covert CIA operative for political payback. It is the arrogance that thinks the president can decide which laws he will ignore when he illegally wiretaps US citizens. It is the arrogance that allows the president to violate the courts and the constitution and eliminate Habeas Corpus. It is the unseemly arrogance that has the GOP congress hand back billions to the rich while cutting food stamps for the needy, all the while looking you in the eye and saying the economy has turned a corner. The rich get richer and the poor get nothing. The ownership society really means that the owners get to own more while the poor get to own their poverty.
As Tom Delay quietly steps aside to deal with the results of his own unbridled arrogance, we can see a light at the end of this tunnel for the first time in many years. The Constitution is what binds us as a country, not arrogance. Tom Delay thought he was the Constitution and today he is facing jail time for his transgressions. America stood up and applauded as the hammer got nailed. George Bush thinks the Constitution is just a "God-dammed piece of paper." It is time again for America to rise up and send a message this year that the Constitution is more than that. It is time to send a message that the GOP corruption that has infested this country for years is now over. It is time to remind the people we pay to represent us that we will not tolerate business as usual, if that business is the corruption of this country and everything we hold dear.