The Hammer Goes To The Slammer

I’m sure that if it hadn’t been for the Arizona shooting story yesterday, the big news would have been that Former Republican House majority leader Tom DeLay was sentenced to three years in prison for violating campaign finance laws.

If you want to read a good overview of the entire thing, Human Events has a good piece. In it, they quote the Washington Post defending DeLay somewhat by saying that the trial was “the criminalization of politics.”

Human Events also defends by saying that we are “putting Tom DeLay in prison for actions only marginally different from those carried out by dozens of his peers.”

All that may be true, but it doesn’t change the fact that Tom Delay did something he knew to be wrong. He thought he could get away with it because technically he felt he was obeying the law. But he knew he was just getting around the law.

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I never liked Tom Delay. He is a part of the old GOP that I hope the Tea Party replaces completely. Even in politics it matters that we follow the dictates of right and wrong, even if it’s legal.

Years ago my husband had an opportunity to make a great deal of money on the side. He checked into it and found that it was perfectly legal. But we sat down and talked about it. I won’t go into the details of course, but It just didn’t seem right. He worried that if the corporation he worked for found out about it, he might have been fired. But it was legal, and the money more than made up for the possibility of his being fired. But as we talked about it, we both knew that it was wrong. Legal or not, it was wrong. So, he didn’t do it.

This is what politicians like Delay need to learn. Just because you think you can get away with it, doesn’t mean you should. We need honesty and integrity in public life. Will we ever have it again? Will politics always be about what can be accomplished behind closed doors?

I hope not.

As for Delay, we all reap what we sow. Sooner or later, how we lived our lives comes back to us. I know in politics winning is everything, but maybe we should remember that integrity stands for something too.

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