Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Delay Missing From Wingnut Meeting, Called to Vatican Instead

Yeah, right. Delay was scheduled to speak at the Confronting the Judicial War on Faith Conference but he had to cancel because he was called to the Vatican. Ooops, I had big plans for tomorrow too, but now I have been called to Mecca.

Could the real reason Delay is going to Rome be that the "inner circle" is plotting his demise? Delay has become a huge liability for Bush and Friends and they have set the hounds loose on him.

The handwriting was on the wall when Dick Cheney said last week that he thought threatening judges was inappropriate. He said this shortly after Delay went on TV lobbing veiled threats against the judges in the Schiavo case.

Delay should have known that Dick only rears his head when the going gets really tough. When Dick gives someone the big heave-ho, they should know it is time to look for a different line of work, but not Tom. If he loses in his legal battles what job will he get next? A White House pest control contract? So in spite of a clear and present danger, Tom continued to spout off about activist judges, even though Dick had him in a headlock and was prepared to administer noogies until Tom cried "Uncle."

But what is not widely talked about is how this whole ugly right-wing attack against judges began.

Flash back to the Kerry/Bush debates. Bush and Friends have been blathering about activist judges for a long, long time. During the debates Bush said he wanted judges to adhere to the constitution and then he brought up the Dred Scott case.

When Bush said this, it looked as though he was just plain nuts. Who knew about a bill called Constitution Restoration Act 2004 that had been introduced in both houses of Congress in March of 2004? H.R. 3799 and S. 2082 had no mainstream press coverage, but it was a huge deal to its sponsors and supporters. Sponsors of the bill are Zell Miller, Lindsey Graham, Richard Shelby and Sam Brownback.

Supporters of the bill are a cast of characters indeed. Alan Keyes and a whacky pair of guys, Michael Peroutka and Chuck Baldwin, who tried to run for President and Vice President in 2004 under the Constitution Party ticket. The party with the slogan God*Family* Republic. These two guys offer bloggers a lifetime of examination, but let's get back to the H.R. 3799 bill.

The bill looks, at first glance, like a religious bill, simply making it illegal for higher courts to review cases by lower courts on decisions regarding things like allowing the Ten Commandments to be posted at court houses. But other parts of the bill seem far more sinister, like banning judges from basing decisions on "international organizations" and "foreign states."

I'm no lawyer, but it sounds to me like Bush, Cheney, Rummy, et al. are looking for a way to legally ensure they will never be prosecuted for war crimes or war profiteering. This bill could be their meal ticket.

Fast forward to Terri Schiavo. Perhaps Rove and the boys thought she was the horse to ride all the way to H.R. 3799. If they won the Schiavo battle, what Senator in their right mind would raise a stink about the bill to allow the Ten Commandments into the court house? It would seem ridiculous after Bush and Friends won the public's hearts and minds over the Schiavo life or death struggle.

But in spite of all of their carefully laid plans, the Schiavo debacle backfired. After Rove flew Shrub back from his tract house in Texas to sign the Terri law, the public support went south. When all attempts to save Schiavo backfired and polls showed the public was against Congress and the Bush Bros, the inner circle piped down. I can imagine the prayers they said on behalf of the Pope's fading health. These guys needed the public to forget about their failed escapades while they figured out another way to slip in H.R. 3799.

Unfortunately, the ugly beast they created with the rabid right-wingers would not pipe down. Delay went around threatening judges. Next thing you know, Cornyn is threatening judges. Keyes says on his website that the Bush Bros are responsible for Terri's death. It is one giant screw scene for Bush and Friends.

So out comes the inner circle to put the death nail in the biggest wingnut of all, Tom Delay. First Cheney puts him in a headlock, but Delay wriggled free and was on his way to speak at the Confronting the Jucidicial War on Faith Conference.

Then Frist tries to put the screws to him, coming out and saying the judges in the Schiavo case did the right thing. This is the same Frist who diagnosed Schiavo via videotape and led the charge to save her life. You know, the good doctor who still thinks HIV can be transmitted by sweat. The same good doctor who makes profits from abortions performed by his family owned HCA hospital chain. The same good doctor who may run for President in '08. He is distancing himself from Delay the only way he can. He flip-flops and hopes the public doesn't notice.

Then along comes Lindsey Graham, a sponsor on the Constitutional Restoration Act bill. He too is insinuating publicly that Tom Delay is a liability to the Republican party.

So Bush and Friends follow the Godfather and decide to keep their friends close and their enemies closer. Delay is somehow summoned to the Vatican and prevented from speaking at his conference. It's an inside job if I ever saw one. The inner circle will dispense with Tommy Boy as quickly and quietly as possible.

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