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It's true. Indicting Tom DeLay for money laundering is just like the Holocaust. You can just ask him:

I am so outraged by this whole criminalization of politics. It’s not good enough to defeat somebody politically. It’s not even good enough to vilify somebody publicly. They have to carpet bomb you with lies and made up scandals and false charges and indicting you on laws that don’t exist. … It’s the same thing as I say in my book, that the Nazis used. When you use the big lie in order to gain and maintain power, it is immoral and it is outrageous…

It’s the same process. It’s the same criminalization of politics. it’s the same oppression of people. It’s the same destroy people in order to gain power. It may be six million Jews. it may be indicting somebody on laws that don’t exist. But, it’s the same philosophy and it’s the same world view.

Ah, Tom DeLay, the Paris Hilton of political money laundering. In earlier times and among more intelligent folks, it might have been possible to explain that if you don't want the "criminalization of politics" to reach your doorstep, probably the most important thing you could do would be to, you know, not commit crimes for the sake of politics. DeLay, however, is dumber than a box of rocks -- and I'm talking ordinary gravel, here, not nice rocks -- and quite possibly the single most powerfully narcissistic Republican politician we have had in some time, which is truly saying something. Tom DeLay's career has been checkered with things that everyone else thinks is unethical or illegal, but which he's been willing to do anyway, and with gusto: he will go to his grave believing in the theory of the Unitary Exterminator -- that if he does something, it is by definition simply not a crime.

On the other hand, one of the better things about our recent crop of teeth-gnashingly conservative politicians is a direct result of this omnipresent narcissism: when they finally implode, they do it in style. Tom DeLay compares his plight to that of the Holocaust, thereby Godwining himself smartly over in the corner where nobody's even been watching. Hastert and the entire Republican Majority vanished not just because of their complete inaction on the steadily disintegrating Iraq War, but when they weren't willing to take even trivial steps to stop one of their own from attempted child buggery. Libby goes and gets himself indicted and then convicted simply because the White House hates critics with such a McCarthyite passion that they can't not attempt to punish them. Gonzales has the entire Justice Department melting around his ears, and appears to be in no position to do a damn thing about it. Conservative shock pundits like Savage or O'Reilly or Little Annie Coulter have taken to immolating themselves for any tiny shreds of self-absorbed publicity. Gingrich -- oh, sweet Heaven, Newt Gingrich himself! -- went supernova long ago, but now is back as conservative white dwarf star: insignificant in the national landscape, but still burning bright as legend in his own mind. And he even packed a sack lunch of old scandals for us to all share, as if in recognition that you can't be a nationally known conservative these days without a display of truly spectacular immorality and sordid personal baggage.

It's like everyone all of a sudden wants to be their own Nixon, or their own McCarthy -- to push the envelope until they finally find the exact moment when it all dissolves around them, and then look around with a dazed expression and pretend to be astonished at the inexplicable, monstrous cruelty of the world actually calling in their chips. Is this a new game show? A bit of performance art, and we're not in on it? A test of our national intelligence, to see just how far they can push things before finally, at long last, even the "pundits" who are buying them drinks finally say "you know what? No more. This all has finally all reached the point of being Quite Stupid Enough, thank you?"

I could mention here the extraordinary irony of Tom DeLay accusing folks of partisan-based indictments at the same time as the Bush administration's Department of Justice is being probed to determine whether was being restaffed with the explicit intent of procuring more partisan-based indictments, and I was certainly going to say something pithy here about how wildly inappropriate it was to compare your indictment for money laundering to genocide, but you know what? I don't have it in me. Knock yourself out, Tom. We've got all of conservativetown flinging their own poop, at the moment -- if that's what it takes to get you noticed in your fight for attention, then go for it. Show 'em what passes for wisdom in that conservative brain of yours: everyone who opposes you is like Hitler.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 02:28 PM PDT.

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