Even in the rarified air of bullshit that is national politics, sometimes it’s good to take time to appreciate true artistry when one sees it. To that end, let’s take a moment to recognize Tom Delay, trained exterminator, former House Majority Leader, one-time convicted felon, and noted asshole. He’s in the news this week for writing in support of Denny Hastert, who might be going to jail for paying off people to keep them from e
xposing him as a sexual predator besmirching his good name.
You would think that “sexually abusing young people” might be reason to shun someone, but clearly you’ve never served in Congress or helped organize a Roman Polanski retrospective. That’s why Delay (along with 40(!) other people) is now going to bat for his old pal. Behold!
“I have observed him in many different and difficult situations,” the letter starts. “He has never disappointed me in any way. He is a man of strong faith that guides him. He is a man of great integrity. He loves and respects his fellow man. I have never witnessed a time when he was unkind to anyone. He is always giving to others and helping anyone including me so many times.”
The one-page note also outlines examples of activities intended to defend the former speaker’s character, such as starting a lunch-time Bible study for colleagues.
“We held each other accountable and we studied God’s word and applied it to where we were at that moment,” wrote DeLay, who is a longtime advocate for foster children and adoption. “Nothing could have been more intimate between us. So I know his heart and have seen it up close and personal.”
“We all have our flaws, but Dennis Hastert has very few. He is a good man that loves the lord. He gets his integrity and values from Him. He doesn’t deserve what he is going through. I ask that you consider the man that is before you and give him leniency where you can,” it concludes.
I get that “I never personally witnessed him commit any crimes” [Editor’s note: Considering their profession, I refuse to believe that] is high praise, and “He loves Jesus, and nobody who owns a Bible could ever do anything wrong” does count as a valid legal defense in at least six states, but maybe go easy on the “That’s why pencils have erasers” and “You know who the real victim is here?” at the end. The optics...they’re not great.