Friday, September 30, 2005

DeLay Gets Hammered

Every hammer carries within itself the means of its own undoing. The face drives the nails, but the claw can pry them back out. So it is with House Majority Leader Tom "The Hammer" DeLay, who was hit with a criminal indictment on Wednesday charging the Texas Republican with "conspiring with two political associates to use corporate donations to support Texas legislative candidates."

Obviously DeLay is innocent until proven guilty, but it looks like one of his strengths—the use of hard-nosed, take-no-prisoners campaign tactics—may ultimately become his downfall.

Like every hero laid low by the ravages of fate, Rep. DeLay has a tragic flaw. It's not his rampant homophobia or his open support for the radical religious right—or even his delusional belief that the Republican party has eliminated waste from the federal budget under his tutelage. No, I think his is a nomenclatural burden.

"Tom" is the name upon which we, as a society, dump our derision and our insecurities. There's Uncle Tom, Peeping Tom, Doubting Thomas, Clarence Thomas—and the list goes on (well, ok, the list pretty much ends there, but it's still pretty damning). With a name like that, DeLay was courting disaster, and now that he has fallen, his name can be added to the closet of our cultural shame.
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