Delightful Indictment of DeLay
By Matthew Rothschild

September 29, 2005

Tom DeLay indicted.

It’s got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

I’m deLighted and eLayted.

As Molly Ivins once said of the Reagan Administration, so it may soon be said of the Bush Administration: “Half of it is under average, and the other half is under indictment.”

Actually, DeLay qualifies in both categories.

And if there’s another category for rattlesnake mean, he’s there, too.

But God didn’t give Bush the sense to distance himself even when this guy got trapped and startled to rattle.

DeLay “is a good ally, a leader who we have worked closely with to get things done for the American people,” said Bush’s spokesman Scott McClellan.

Yes, Bush has worked closely with him but not for the American people but to further the crony capitalism that so mars this Administration.

To pass the bankruptcy bill. To pass the energy bill. To pass the FTAA. And to give one tax break after another to the top 1 percent of Americans.

The indictment of Delay spells out his alleged involvement in a criminal conspiracy to violate the Texas campaign finance law by soliciting a “prohibited political contribution by a corporation.” It states that one of DeLay’s cohorts, John Colyandro, solicited a total of$190,000 from six companies (including Sears and Bacardi). These companies gave this money to DeLay’s Texans for a Republican Majority PAC. This group then sent a check for $190,000 over to the Republican National State Elections Committee (the indictment reproduces a copy of that check). And then another of DeLay’s cohorts, James Ellis, instructed the Republican committee to distribute monies to seven candidates for the Texas House of Representatives.

Colyandro and Ellis were indicted together with DeLay on the conspiracy charge.

DeLay denounces the indictment as the tool of a “political fanatic.”

But that description best describes himself.

A man who so often has viewed himself as above the law now must wrestle with it to try to save his name, which has been selling quite low for some time.

The crony and the crooked are beginning to crumble.

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A huge win, it's also just a hit on the pause button. Here's some context and ideas about paths forward.

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By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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