Although today’s column talks a lot about Tom Delay, I’m really writing to ask why it has taken so long for something to be done. Why have my Republican friends expressed the opinion that I’m full of [excrement deleted] for having complained to them for over a year now that if the Republican Party was the party of G-d and ethics that they believe it is, something should be done about Tom?
Because the deal here is this: Tom Delay’s own party, having received their signal from the White House, is finally turning on him just as they once did on his intellectual and (un)ethical predecessor, Newt Gingrich.
A word of warning: This is another of my “Balaam’s Ass” posts. Those offended by the occasional encounter with words from the Bible — by which I mean at least 99.9% of all christians — probably will want to skip this article….which is sad, because Balaam’s Ass is primarily trying to talk to you.
Tom Delay has long been a liability for the Republican Party. He has also been a largely adroit politician who has greatly benefited the GOP. So it’s no surprise that they’ve gone to extraordinary lengths to protect him. The Party that — under the “slam-my-hand-down-on-the-podium-while-I-smirk” example of George W. Bush — has virtually handed America and more than 99% of Americans over to corporate interests could not turn on one of those who first came up with the idea of jimmying the electoral systems. After all, the CEO of Diebold isn’t the only favored son of the Republican Party.
Who knows exactly why Delay is doing it? Does he actually believe he is G-d, or is he just yanking the chains of the Theocratic Right? Whatever the reason, there’s still a majority of Americans who don’t cotton to advocating violence against judges who have dared to do their constitutional duty.
As the LA Times notes,
Judicial independence is one of this nation’s distinguishing traits and a hallmark of our constitutional scheme. To endure, our democracy requires that legislators respect the independence of the judiciary, even when it comes to decisions they don’t like. — “The War on Judges” (April 10, 2005) Los Angeles Times.
And even most leaders of the Republican Party — I pine to know they’re right! — think that enough Americans still believe in that to make Delay a gopple. GOPLs, of course, are GOP Liabilities, and Delay is just the latest and most obvious in a long line of them.
And so it is that finally the Party’s party with the fundamentalist theocratic wing may be winding down. Just as in the days of the Reverend Isaac Backus, New England’s most prominent Baptist minister — a Baptist, no less! — writing in 1773, even before the Birth of the United States:
[W]hen church and state are separate, the effects are happy, and they do not at all interfere with each other: but where they have been confounded together, no tongue nor pen can fully describe the mischiefs that have ensued. — “Separation of Church and State” (last visited April 10, 2005) Theocracy Watch (internal quotes removed).
So, too, the leaders of the Republican Party finally may be realizing that the vocal minority which clamors for a theocratic government is the monster they should not have let out of the cage. They may be loud and they may vote, but the fact is that millions more Americans who do not favor supplanting the rule of law with the rule of even supposedly “godly” men also vote.
And we are rapidly beginning to tire of the increasing religiosity of the Republican Party. We know that the world is not divided into just two camps: Those who agree with Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and George Bush…and those who don’t.
And we still believe that for all its flaws — and it is possible to recognize those flaws while still supporting the courts and their judges — the constitutional system of the United States of America is still the best democratic republic in the world.
And we — once riled — outnumber the Theocrats.
If the Republican Party were truly the Party of G-d, they would have read these words:
Woe to the [spiritual] shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you kill the fatlings, but you do not feed the sheep. The diseased and weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the hurt and crippled you have not bandaged, those gone astray you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought to find, but with force and hardhearted harshness you have ruled them. And they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild beasts of the field. My sheep wandered through all the mountains and upon every high hill; yes, My sheep were scattered upon all the face of the earth and no one searched or sought for them.
Therefore, you [spiritual] shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As I live, says the Lord God, surely because My sheep became a prey, and My sheep became food for every beast of the field because there was no shepherd—neither did My shepherds search for My sheep, but the shepherds fed themselves and fed not My sheep — Therefore, O you [spiritual] shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My sheep at their hand and cause them to cease feeding the sheep, neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more. I will rescue My sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them. — Ezekiel 34:2-10 (The Amplified Bible)
But what I really wonder is this: Why is it that my friends who claim to be such devout Christians don’t know these words themselves? Why is it that they continue to support a party which only pretends to be the Party of G-d? Why, when I’ve tried to warn them, do they merely write me off as “a liberal”?
If G-d can use an ass (donkey) to deliver His message, why couldn’t He use a liberal?
My primary question is aimed mostly at those who fancy themselves to be Christians. The Christian Bible teaches that G-d created humans with Free Will on purpose. It wasn’t a mistake. He wanted each individual to exercise that free will; He wanted them to choose to do His will, to freely accept him. Go ahead, ignore my normal constitutionally-based arguments: Why would you think a G-d who created an entire world and the people in it for the purpose of providing them with freedom of choice would be pleased to have your religious views forced on His creation by the government of the United States of America?
How long will you continue to support a party inimical to your beliefs?
And, to the rest of us, who have no excuse for insanity, how long will we continue to believe that the Republican Party stands for “moral values”? How long before we realize that — like Tom Delay and his political action committee which paid a half a million dollars to his own wife and daughter — the Republican Party exists for the benefit only of its leaders and the corporations that own them?