I’ve been thinking (again) about what Judge Pat Priest should do in deciding how much, or how little time Tom DeLay needs to serve for his crimes against Texas and democracy in America. DeLay, you know, had a choice between letting the jury come up with a sentence should he be found guilty, and letting the judge do it. Clearly he figured the judge would be more lenient than the jury.
Priest, who is a visiting judge, and not subject to re-election, has a real opportunity here and cannot be retired by an irate conservative electorate. He can make the punishment fit the crime and suffer not a single second of political retribution.
So how should Judge Priest come to a decision? How much is too much or too little?
First, the judge should listen to DeLay’s take on his conviction. There is simply no remorse. He still denies that what he did was a crime. If Priest agrees with the jury, that DeLay went beyond what DeLay calls common practice in DC, then passing a sentence with some teeth in it may just jar the man back to reality.
And second, Judge Priest needs to know just what sort of person he is passing judgment on. And one way to do that is to listen to what he himself says about crime and getting justice in America. So I thought it might be instructive to search through the archives for quotable quotes uttered by Tom DeLay.
Hope it helps.
On a Florida Supreme Court ruling in Bush v. Gore:
“Four justices of the Florida State Supreme Court have distorted the judicial process into nothing more than a mechanism for providing Mr. Gore with the victory he was unable to win November 7. This ruling not only contradicts, but assaults, the most basic principles of jurisprudence.”
ON CBS News decision to reveal documents alleging that Bush received special treatment during his time in the National Guard:
“I understand that people want to protect their sources, but we're dealing with the alleged forgery of government documents to influence a presidential race during war, ... This isn't politics as usual. It's dangerous and possibly criminal.”
On former District Attorney Ronnie Earle:
“Any partisan crackpot district attorney who might want to indict a member of our leadership.”
On being forgiven:
“Forgiveness does not absolve you from consequences.”
On criminal youth:
“The causes of youth violence are working parents who put their kids into daycare, the teaching of evolution in the schools, and working mothers who take birth control pills.”
“Our school systems teach the children that they are nothing but glorified apes who are evolutionized [sic] out of some primordial soup.”
On judges who make decisions he doesn’t like:
“The judges need to be intimidated. They need to uphold the Constitution. (If they don't behave) we're going to go after them in a big way.”
But perhaps the best Tom DeLay quote is not, in fact words from Tom DeLay at all, They are attributed to Mike Scanlan, Tom DeLay’s former aide. They more than anything should give Judge Priest an idea of what Tom DeLay thinks about crime and getting justice:
“This whole thing about not kicking someone when they are down is BS – not only do you kick him – you kick him until he passes out – then beat him over the head with a baseball bat – then roll him up in an old rug – and throw him off a cliff into the pounding surf below!!!!”
Words to live by.