Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Tom De Lay Is a Cynic

Hi Everyone,

First, happy Easter to all the believers among us.

The title of this posting shouldn't be that big a surprise to anyone. Tom De Lay has been admonished by the bipartisan ethics board in the House of Representatives on four separate cases. This is not including a case which may lead to his being indicted for fraud and illegal fundraising in Texas. But the issue that makes De Lay look so bad today comes in an article in the Sunday LA Times. The article reports that Tom De Lay's father was removed from life support at the request of this family. The elder Mr. De Lay had no living will. However, because the family was unanimous there was no legal fight and no intervention by Mr. De Lay's predecessors in the House Republican leadership. The icing on the cake is that the elder Mr. De Lay suffered his ultimately fatal injury trying to ride a home made tramway he built from a kit in his back yard. After his death, Mr. De Lay's family -- get this -- sued the manufacture of the kit! The case was based on consumer protection laws in Texas that Rep. De Lay's tort reform bills override. The case was settled out of court for a reported $250,000. My favorite parts of the article are where Rep. De Lay's spokespeople say that his father's situation was "completely different" from the Terri Shiavo case. Running a close second was where Rep. De Lay claims to have "prayed" about the situation...apparently God said, "Pull the plug and call the lawyers."

So what does this tell us about the Republican leadership?

1 comment:

US West said...

I want to advise that we be careful in hitting Delay too hard for what appears to be cynicism. It may not be fair. I looked at the LA Times article, and I had this feeling that a liberal leaning paper was trying to play the sensation game the way Right wing outlets do. And when liberals to that, they come off looking like screaming memes. Right wingers just look like drama kings. It is a subtle, but important difference.

Just to remind people: it was the Shiavio family that decided to make her situation an issue. If they could have settled things themselves, the courts wouldn’t have gotten involved and we wouldn’t have heard a word about it. The Delay family didn’t make it an issue. If Delay really believes that improvement is possible in Shiavio’s case (which seems ridiculous considering she now has Jello for brains), then he can be accused of stupidity. If he is opposed to the starvation aspect of the case, then he can called squeamish. If he doesn’t have strong feelings or judgments either way, then he can be accused of political pandering. And let’s tease this a little bit. Medically, his father’s case and that of Shiavio were very different. My dad’s case was the same way. It wasn’t just the food that was an issue, it was the life support structure in general. Once unplugged, death cam fast and easy. I think that the aspect bothering people with Shiavio is that starving her causes a prolonged death, and possible painful (if she can still feel anything death. As LTG pointed out, if you could just inject her with something and end it, that would be a more humane way to settle the whole thing. That is the sick irony of it all.

Now if you want to call the man cynical, then the lawsuit would be a more clear case. Anyone who builds a trolley set on a steep hill is a dig bat at best and a dare devil at worst. I’d have to know about the situation in more detail, but my guess is that the break failed because it wasn’t meant to have that much load on it to begin with. If the hill was steep enough, then of course the thing failed. And how many times did he trial run it before putting 4 people in it?