Friday, March 23, 2007

Hardball with Tom Delay

There are a couple of things about the recent interview between Chris Matthews and Tom Delay on Hardball that have been sticking in my craw.

The part of this interview that has gotten the most attention is when Matthews quoted a portion of Delay's new book, which Delay denied was in the book. Matthews then reads the quote directly from the book, and Delay again denies it. Matthews then hands the book to Delay to read for himself. Delay uses the excuse that he does not have his glasses so he cannot read the passage in question, in what must go down as one of the greatest denials of obvious truth in modern times.

This incident truly is a parable of the modern day Republican party. The undeniable truth is not true at all and ought to be debunked. Often times they do this for no apparent reason. Delay's quarrel with Matthews was over the insignificant detail of whether Delay wrote that Dick Armey was "blind" or "drunk" with power. Delay is willing to battle the host reading his own freaking book over that meaningless detail, making himself appear very foolish in the process.

Another part of this I found remarkable was how Delay actually says at the end of that particular exchange "we could argue about this all night." The transcript does not have this quote because it was drowned out in laughter and cross talk, but I remember watching the segment, and catching that quote from Delay. My reaction at the time was... "no you can't." You actually can not argue all night about what is written in a book when the book is available to settle the argument.

Actually, upon reflection, maybe I have fallen into Delay's mindset myself. I suppose you actually COULD argue about such a matter all night, if you were craven enough to completely ignore the immutable proof. In other words, you could argue about it all night, if you had the mindset of a three year old in a temper tantrum... or were Tom Delay. I'll bet Tony Snow and Dick Cheney could carry on a argument about a quote in a book as well.

By definition there is no point in reasoning with Tom Delay at this point in his life. No amount of proof may be offered which would sway him. For someone who wants to be an opinion shaper in American politics, Delay has proven himself singularly unworthy to hold our respect, because he is unable to admit manifest error.

This sort of bull headed ignorance of the obvious perhaps explains the next part of this interview which stood out for me. Here is the transcript of the part where they talk about Mark Foley:
MATTHEWS:... When you say: “I didn‘t know Mark Foley was gay,” you really thought you—you really didn‘t notice that about his lifestyle?

DELAY: I don‘t pay attention to that kind of stuff.

MATTHEWS: You work with this guy, you didn‘t know?

DELAY: I don‘t listen to gossip. I don‘t—I did not know. I mean, people would tell me things, but unless I see him dancing with his lover on the floor, I don‘t care about.

MATTHEWS: You‘re a real doubting Thomas, aren‘t you?

DELAY: I don‘t care about that kind of stuff.
This is clearly another example of Delay ignoring the truth before his very eyes. "People would tell me things" is him saying that he overlooked Foley's foibles for some reason. I'm certain if people had told him things about a Democrat, Delays forbearance would have been substantially less evident.

Frankly Matthews ought to have jumped on Delay on exactly what people were telling him about Foley. I can see turning a blind eye to Foley being involved with another man, even if that would demonstrate a certain level of hypocrisy from a Republican leader in Washington. But what Foley was mixed up with was hitting on the Congressional Pages. The record shows that Foley's relationship with the pages had raised eyebrows as early as 2001, causing some Congress members to warn their pages to stay away from him. If Delay turned a deaf ear to someone alerting him to Foley's Page problem, that seems like a bit of a story to me, and I wish Matthews had followed up on that.

The time is rapidly approaching when the people who lead this nation by idealism and dogma alone are replaced by those who care about things like facts and truth. In the meantime I would like to thank Delay for providing yet another example of the mindset which has led this nation to the state of affairs we are currently in.

It's a Republican trait. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, et al, have all been confronted with both printed and video proof of their lies; yet still adamantly deny it. It's absurd, farcical, and downright ludicrous. If our nation were not paying the price, it would be comical.
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