Delay Non-apologizes

Amusing. After catching hell for his comments on the Judiciary we have this from Delay:

“I said something in an inartful way. I am sorry I said it that way,” DeLay said.
He said he favors an independent judiciary but made it plain that he does not intend to give up congressional efforts to rein in “activist” judges.

“We’ve got jurisdiction over the courts. We set up the courts, and we can unset the courts,” DeLay said. “We have the power of the purse.”

Cleary not apologizing for the content of what he said – yet USA Today characterizes it thusly:

“DeLay apologizes for rhetoric in Schiavo case”
Which USA Today characterizes it this way:
DeLay did express regret (emphasis mine- afarensis) for saying, after the death of Schiavo, that the judges who refused to reinsert the brain-damaged woman’s feeding tube would one day “answer for their behavior.”

I don’t know about you, but I think an apology would have been more like: “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it” Not ” I’m sorry for the way I said it, but I still mean it”

And then, buying into Republican talking points:

“This is purely the Democrats’ effort to distract because they don’t have a message. They don’t have an agenda,” Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said.

Yet:

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, hoping to hold support among fellow Republicans, urged GOP senators Tuesday to blame Democrats if asked about his ethics controversy and accused the news media of twisting supportive comments so they sounded like criticism. “Officials said DeLay recommended that senators respond to questions by saying Democrats have no agenda other than partisanship, and are attacking him to prevent Republicans from accomplishing their legislative program (emaphasis mine – afarensis). One Republican said the Texan referred to a “mammoth operation” funded by Democratic supporters and designed to destroy him as a symbol of the Republican majority.”

And:

“His private remarks to Senate Republicans were in keeping with the response frequently offered on his behalf by House Republicans: Blame the Democrats and occasionally the news media for the scrutiny he faces. House Republicans intend to follow the script later in the week, hoping to showcase passage of bankruptcy legislation and estate tax repeal as a counterpoint to Democratic charges that they are merely power-hungry.”

Good Lord, don’t get me started on the Bankruptcy Bill and the Estate Tax Repeal (Robin Hood in reverse – rob from the poor and give to the rich). It would be nice if the press would actually do their jobs instead of pandering to the Republicans. If they did more people might watch the news and read the newspaper!

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3 Responses

  1. I’ve gotten a lot of response to my post Tom DeLay, Go Home, in which people seem to think I am anti-DeLay. Nothing could be further from the truth. I certainly don’t agree with his politics, but that has nothing to do with my stance on him as a Representative. He was voted in by Texans, and if they like his politics, that is their business not mine. I am simply attempting to show some logical inconsistencies in DeLay’s remarks on the judiciary. I do respect, however, his ability to be honest about his opinions rather than proclaiming a popular opinion without acting on it. I don’t have to agree with DeLay to respect his mastery of this lost art.

    The Boston Globe has this news story about how Tom DeLay has apologized for his rash remarks on the judiciary:

    “House majority leader Tom DeLay apologized yesterday for saying federal
    judges are ‘responsible” for the death of Terri Schiavo. But he added that he
    has asked the House Judiciary Committee to investigate the judges who declined
    to order that a life-sustaining feeding tube be reinserted for the brain-damaged
    Florida woman, as part of a broader review of ‘judicial activism” that he
    suggested should extend to the Supreme Court.”

    “At the news conference, DeLay said he wanted to clarify his previous
    statements by restating that he thinks the country should have an ‘independent
    judiciary.” He also apologized for saying that judges who reviewed the Schiavo
    case will soon ‘answer for their behavior” after ruling against her parents,
    who wanted her feeding tube replaced.”

    Unfortunately, DeLay still believes that:

    “At a news conference yesterday, DeLay said Congress retains oversight of
    the federal courts and should use it to hold judges accountable. He said the
    Schiavo case, in which federal courts refused to intervene despite extraordinary
    efforts by Congress and President Bush, warrants particular scrutiny.”

    It seems that DeLay still doesn’t understand what happened in the Schiavo case. The federal courts DID intervene, they just decided that DeLay and the other members of Congress that supported the bill had incorrectly interpreted the law.

    For some legal background, here is a great article by John Dean that deals with some of the issues involved in a judicial impeachment, including:

    “Toward this end, once confirmed by the Senate, a federal judge is effectively
    tenured for life, or as Article
    III of the Constitution sets forth, they “hold their offices during good
    behavior.” In addition, also under Article III, judges’ compensation cannot be
    reduced while they are on the bench. Good behavior, as Hamilton made clear, is
    “to secure a steady, upright, and impartial administration of the laws.””

    “Judges can only be removed because of their “Treason, Bribery or other
    high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Only a handful of federal judges have ever been
    impeached under this high standard. And Congress’s failure to impeach and
    convict Chief Justice Samuel Chase made clear that mere disagreement with a
    judge’s decisions, or judicial philosophy, is not grounds for removal.”

    So, what are the ground of impeachment? There are none, DeLay is simply wrong, honestly wrong, but wrong none-the-less.

  2. “I said something in an inartful way. I am sorry I said it that way,” pretty much says it all. Delay meant what he said he just didn’t expect to get as much flack over it as he has. Of course didn’t he give a speech to the same group where this was said:

    GOP Senator Tom Coburn outside the conference in downtown Washington last Thursday afternoon after he spoke there. Before I could
    introduce myself, he turned to me and another observer with a crooked smile and exclaimed, “I’m a radical! I’m a real extremist. I don’t want to impeach judges. I want to impale them!”

    While you may not be anti-Delay I certainly am. I think he is too extreme for the United States and a walking afront to the values this country was founded on. I recently read the Federalist Papers and another book called the Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention Debates (ed by Ralph Ketcham). One of the things that struck me was the large amount of time the “Founding Fathers” spent creating compromise between a wide variety of conflicting interests. These compromises created the strongest, most stable country in the world. The attitude Delay represents would undo all that.

  3. “I’m sorry I said it that way” means he just thinks he should have worded it differently. HA HA – I’m glad he’s getting flak. He has been nothing but a jerk for the last many years. Maybe the people will see him for what he IS.

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