Tom DeLay’s Warped View of History

It seems that Tom DeLay’s transition from extraordinarily corrupt Washington insider to Tea Party firebrand is complete. On his radio show last week he bizarrely claimed that Cliven Bundy is standing up for the “rule of law.” You keep using that phrase…

“He doesn’t owe the federal government anything because he doesn’t recognize that the federal government can come take his livelihood away from him and he’s standing up for the rule of law, the real law, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and fighting against what is happening to him,” DeLay said.

“The oppression and the tyranny that is coming from our government is just outrageous…. The federal government is building its weapons of oppression and tyranny as we speak.”

The Constitution? Would that be the document that explicitly includes the federal government’s authority to own and regulate property? And the one that also explicitly includes the federal government’s authority to tax? You mean that Constitution? Because it bears little resemblance to the constitution you have in your head.

And what is this idiocy about the federal government “taking away his livelihood”? They’re charging him about 1/8th the price it would cost him to graze his cattle on private land. He’s getting a staggeringly good deal and still bitching about it. He’s stolen over a million dollars from American taxpayers, for crying out loud. And as a legal matter, this is as easy a case as one will ever find. It could not be more clear. The rule of law is precisely what is not being enforced.

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  • zenlike

    Denying the USA exists = ‘upholding the constitution’.

    Your business getting huge subsidies from the government = ‘the government is destroying this poor man’s livelihood’.

    Defying laws for decades = ‘upholding the rule of law’.

    Government trying to enforce perfectly legitimate laws = ‘oppression and tyranny’.

    The Orwellian newspeak is strong in this one.

  • mmfwmc

    Um, unrelated, but what happened to this week in Christian Nationalism? I tried to click a link in my RSS feed and it’s gone. Also gone from front page. Tell me the trolls didn’t get to her.

  • fmitchell

    Tom DeLay clearly lives in a different universe from the rest of us. Here’s a dispatch from that universe, or one nearby:

    April 1, 2014 (AP) — The United States Federal Government, amid accusations of oppression and citing falling tax revenues and internal conflict, announced today it would cease all operations in the next few months. “We clearly cannot continue on our current path,” the final President of the United States, Barack Obama, announced. “Since we cannot change the course of government, we have no choice but to turn the functions of government over to the people. We wish our successors, whoever they may be, greater success.”

    All nonessential employees, legislators, and judges of the Federal government have already been given severance packages. Regulatory agencies will cease all operations by the end of the year, if not sooner, using temp workers to close and file all existing cases. Existing recipients of Social Security will receive two years’ worth of payments, and are encouraged to find alternate sources of income. Other payments to U.S. citizens including farm subsidies, corporate subsidies, medicare, welfare, education, and environmental programs will stop immediately. Remaining assets of the U.S. Government will be auctioned off to pay off existing creditors.

    The Department of Defense is in negotiations with its industrial partners to turn all operations over to them. Temporary agencies report a surge in new openings. This will probably lower unemployment rates for the short term. How much unemployment will decrease is unknown, since the agencies that track unemployment have ceased to exist. Several new corporations have formed to take over some government functions, but since the legal apparatus to register corporations has also ceased to exist, no one knows how many, or whether any of them will perform as promised.

    Dissatisfied citizens may sue the Federal Government in state courts, but since those courts have no jurisdiction those suits will be meaningless. No word yet which, if any, state governments will follow suit.

  • Chiroptera

    …because he doesn’t recognize that the federal government can come take his livelihood away from him….

    Wow! Just like the good folks who grow pot in our national forests!

  • fmitchell

    P.S. Yes, I know corporations register in states, not with Federal agencies. I haven’t had my coffee yet, OK?

  • raven

    “He doesn’t owe the federal government anything because he doesn’t recognize that the federal government can come take his livelihood away from him and he’s standing up for the rule of law, the real law, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and fighting against what is happening to him,” DeLay said.

    You could say the same thing about any marijuana grower, identity thief, penny stock scammer, or drug dealer.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/TabbyLavalamp Tabby Lavalamp

    Um, unrelated, but what happened to this week in Christian Nationalism? I tried to click a link in my RSS feed and it’s gone. Also gone from front page. Tell me the trolls didn’t get to her.

    The last time I read her last post, there was the start of some heat in the comments and I wouldn’t be surprised if they got more heated so she may have decided to leave.

  • caseloweraz

    Tom DeLay: “The oppression and the tyranny that is coming from our government is just outrageous…. The federal government is building its weapons of oppression and tyranny as we speak.”

    “…shunned, oppressed, and conquered by those we sought to escape!”

    I’m sure Mr. DeLay has a passport and a good deal of money. He can escape the “oppression and tyranny” whenever he wishes.

  • pocketnerd

    It’s important to remember the Tea Partiers have gotten so disconnected from reality that they’re talking about completely fictional things that just happen to share names with real-world objects, people, and ideas.

    The real-world Ronald Reagan was nothing like RONALD REAGAN. The Constitution bears little or no resemblance to that THE CONSTITUTION thing the Teabaggers love to talk about (but apparently haven’t read). And, of course, BARACK HUSSEIN!! OBAMA is a Marxist radical who hates America, Jesus, and most especially white people… unlike the center-right Christian who lives in the real-world White House.

  • greg1466

    I’m generally opposed to the use of force to resolve issues, but in the Bundy case I think the BLM made a huge mistake by backing down when the militia idiots showed up. All they’ve done is encouraged the wingnuts to be even more aggressive the next time. They should have called in a SWAT team. Hell, if these guys were in any other country, we’d be calling them terrorists…maybe they should send in a delta force.

  • John Horstman

    The Real Law™ of White male entitlement to a sweet life with zero effort…

  • http://www.susankrinard.com sueinnm

    MMFWMC:

    I wondered the same thing. I was one of those who commented on the blog, indicating my disappointment with Mikey’s decision and its implications. However, I was polite and expressed disappointment, not hate. I didn’t see any other comments last night that seemed particularly heated, but yes, there were those of us who did not feel comfortable with the decision.

    If this kind of disagreement can drive someone away from the blog … disagreement without any kind of abuse attached . . . then clearly Chris was not able to accept contrary opinions. It’s a shame, as I have followed MRFF’s activities for some time.

    Of course it’s possible that there was more going on behind the scenes, and that there were abusive comments that didn’t make it into the comments section. I just didn’t see any myself.

  • busterggi

    Tom Delay almost makes me want to reinstitute prohibition because he’d starve to death under it.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    We’re getting to the point where we literally cannot coexist with Republicans anymore. If there’s one thing that we have to agree on to be a functioning nation, it’s that the United States government is legitimate, its laws are valid, and that those who violate the laws must be held accountable. Anything less, and the nation dissolves into separatism and anarchy.

  • Evan Brehm

    “We’re getting to the point where we literally cannot coexist with Republicans anymore. If there’s one thing that we have to agree on to be a functioning nation, it’s that the United States government is legitimate, its laws are valid, and that those who violate the laws must be held accountable. Anything less, and the nation dissolves into separatism and anarchy.”

    Unfortunately, the sheer crazy of modern Republicans doesn’t seem to be stopping them from trending to take the Senate this year. The fact that they might actually control both houses of Congress after all the crap they’ve pulled speaks volumes on the colossal failure of our education system to create informed and intelligent voters.

  • pocketnerd

    Thus Spake ZaraEvan Brehm, #15:

    Unfortunately, the sheer crazy of modern Republicans doesn’t seem to be stopping them from trending to take the Senate this year. The fact that they might actually control both houses of Congress after all the crap they’ve pulled speaks volumes on the colossal failure of our education system to create informed and intelligent voters.

    It’s more complicated than that; the current US educational system certainly has its problems, but I don’t think you can pin this on them — the average Republican voter is 50 years old. He’s not the product of any practicing teacher or any current educational program.

    I think larger issues are: Generational demographics (the average Republican voter is 50 years old); opportunistic racism and xenophobia (Nixon’s Southern Strategy lives on); the rise of a right-wing echo chamber where Republican voters are insulated from reality; and — not least! — the abject failure of modern journalism. (“Well, viewers, 98% of climate scientists agree global warming is a serious threat, but our guest Cletus Lunkmann of the Jesus Loves Coal Institute says that’s a lie from a bunch of stupid eggheads who hate America. I guess we’ll never know for sure!”)

  • corporal klinger

    @ 10

    Were those brave “patriots and “good people” not threatening to use women and children as human shields?

  • Pierce R. Butler

    mmfwmc @ # 2 & sueinnm @ # 12 – Well, Chris Rodda did actually dare to disagree with PZ the Powerful in an exchange of comments – so, in time-honored FtB tradition, she’s probably making her way peristaltically through some kraken’s digestive system, bit at a time, even as we wonder…

  • raven

    the average Republican voter is 50 years old.

    The average Fox NoNews viewer is 68. Their viewership is declining although it is still the #1 cable news station.

    A lot of what drives the GOP is racism and this is from recent social science studies.

    1. The US is on trend to go below 50% white in a few decades, somewhere between 2030 and 2040. Whites know how miserable being a minority can be. After all, some of them made huge efforts to make it so.

    2. You can see it in voting patterns. Romney voters were an astonishing 88% white. Obama was, “Obama’s 39 percent showing among white voters ,,.”

    Voting is markedly polarizing along racial lines and this is likely to get much worse.

    3. The Tea Party is mostly the old South. Again. 68% of elected to national office Tea Partiers are from the south. It’s a hangover from the civil war, which, after all only ended 149 years ago.

  • sueinnm

    Pierce R. Butler,

    P.Z. says in a thread on Pharyngula that he was only annoyed, and knew nothing about Chris leaving FB. I saw the exchange, and it was hardly what I’d call “heated” from PZ’s end . . . no more than usual, anyway. So, as far as I know, she was not asked to leave or driven out. I felt that Chris’s response was a bit over the top, and I have always appreciated the work she and Mikey are doing. There was a sense of “if you can’t understand why we’re doing this, you’re unreasonable.”

  • Pierce R. Butler

    sueinnm @ # 20: I saw the exchange, and it was hardly what I’d call “heated” from PZ’s end …

    You had no particular reason to notice, and of course the evidence has now vanished, but the comment following PZ’s came from me, which I will now quote in full:

    Deeeeeeep Rifts at FTB!

    I intended that with the same facetiousness of my # 18 here, and can only regret my accuracy after the fact.

    With that in mind, I refuse to say anything about where Prof. Myers does get his Kraken Chow™.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    FTR: Myers now has a full post about the sudden departure of Rodda, though with little more solid info.

  • Michael Heath

    Thanks for the update Pierce.

    Like PZ, I too thought Chris Rodda was clearly wrong in referring to atheists as if the reference is a pejorative. However I didn’t post a comment on her FTB blog about that.

    I’ll miss Chris. She’s one of only a handful of FTB bloggers I read other than Ed. I also think her contributions to promoting objective truth are enormous. I don’t read the Huffpost bloggers nor can I even imagine posting a comment at that site. However I probably will attempt to set-up an RSS feed to my reader if they allow you to do that there by blogger. I’ll go do that now.