Masters of Snark Edition
As I mentioned here, the Texas Observer is one of my lifelines to sanity in these dark ages. This month, they prove themselves worthy once again, with snarkability that most of us can only aspire to, by awarding the First Annual Tommy Award for Ethics in Government to...
(the envelope, please)
the sole surviving leader of the great ethical crusade of 1994
an ethical exemplar [who has] stood before the House Ethics Committee more times than any other un-incarcerated member of Congress
A man who
is possessed of an unusual ability to divorce personal gifts from political favoritism...like the ancient Vedic conept of 'enlightened detachment.' There is nothing wrong with the accumulation of great wealth--as long as you don't get attached to it
A man who took $177,000 for golfing trips, a $30,000 for New Year's holiday in Saipan, the Tommy Award winner
accepted the money with the clear understanding that nothing was expected in return.
For these reasons, and many more, we are proud to recognize Tom Delay as the man who cut the Gordian knot of congressional ethics.
Molly, in her own snarkalicious way, illuminates how DeLay is, even among Texas politicians, in a class by himself. Texas pols may have an "overdeveloped sense of the extenuating circumstance," the "definition of an honest Texas pol is one who stays bought," many of them may have the "ethical sensitivity of a walnut," and "if you took all the fools out of the Lege, it would no longer be a representative body."
All of this has led many to conclude erroneously that Tom DeLay, an alumnus of the Texas Legislature, is somehow our fault.
But I categorically reject cultural responsibility for Tom DeLay. Real Texas politicians are neither hypocritical nor sanctimonious.
The idea that you were immune from ethical lapses because you had found Jesus did not fly here. Sanctimony stinks in the nostrils of the Lord.
DeLay also sets himself apart from the pack by
using a children's charity as a cover for collecting soft money from special interest groups and then spending it on dinners, a golf tournament, a rock concert, Broadway tickets, and so forth.
According to Molly, this guy's just plain mean and
smells like a slop jar. Get him out of there.
While there is more good stuff on their website, the two pieces excerpted above are not. So go get your own subscription.