The other side of the story

Published 3:52 pm Monday, October 10, 2005

By By Tray Smith
Last week, and again this week, Texas Congressman Tom Delay was indicted by a Democratic Prosecutor in Travis County, Texas. The difference in Tom Delay and every other Congressman is that he is the second highest ranking official among the House Republican Caucus. He has successfully used that position to get the Republican agenda passed through the house, maintain a Republican majority in the House for the past eleven years, and make the Democratic obstruction tactics used in the Senate impossible in the House. This has earned him the nickname "The Hammer." Largely due to his success as the second highest ranking Republican Congressman, the Democrats despise Tom Delay.
So now, a Democratic prosecutor in Texas has made two indictments against Tom Delay. From the start I want to make it clear that our elected officials, just like everyone else, should be held to the highest ethical standard. If Tom Delay is guilty of these charges, I, more than anyone else, want him to suffer the consequences. But I am writing this article off of what I know now.
What I know now is very disturbing. The prosecutor who has indicted Tom Delay has frequently used his position to try to hurt his political enemies. He has prosecuted Texas Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, among many others, over the course of his career. He is a well-known Democrat. He appeared at a Democratic fundraiser and boosted that he would be the one that took Tom Delay down. Finally, when Tom Delay's lawyers attempted to have the first charge thrown out because it was based on a law that took affect after Mr. Delay's alleged actions, the prosecutor slammed him with two more indictment's. Now, he is working overtime to harm Mr. Delay's career by filing an indictment that is very unspecific and seems very much like a political sham.
But the Democrats did not take any of this into consideration. Instead of treating Mr. Delay as innocent until proven guilty, they treated the entire Republican party as if it had been convicted for corruption. In doing so, they expressed absolutely no faith in our entire judicial system that they claim to defend.
The House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, stood up and said, "The criminal indictment of Majority Leader Tom Delay is the latest example that Republicans in Congress are plagued by a culture of corruption at the expense of the American people."(And that statement was the latest example of why America would be better off if Nancy Pelosi would stay in San Francisco.)
Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic Party (Who has in the past made such compassionate statements as, "I hate Republicans and everything they stand for.") finally found something else to scream about, saying, "With House Republican Leader Tom DeLay under criminal indictment, Senate Republican Leader Frist facing SEC and Department of Justice investigations, and White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove under investigation, the Republican leadership in Washington is now spending more time answering questions about ethical misconduct than doing the people's business."
Now, I'm glad that the Democrats are concerned about ethics, but I think maybe they should be more concerned about their own ethics than the Republicans ethics. I do not even need to remind you about how unethical their former president, Bill Clinton was. I must point out that the reason the Republicans are not doing the people's business is not because they are defending themselves from corruption. It is because the Democrats threaten to filibuster everything that the Republicans propose to do. Instead of gathering behind our newly elected President last year after they got defeated in the election, the Democrats have continued to go along as if it is still 2004. This is simply political strategy to help them win in next years mid-term election without forcing them to go through the trouble of actually coming up with a positive agenda.
They do not care if Tom Delay is innocent are guilty, all they care about is the sound bite they get out of accusing all Republicans of being corrupt. If Tom Delay is acquitted, you can bet that we want hear one apology or retracted statement from one democrat. I'm not defending Mr. Delay's actions if he is guilty, I am defending his constitutional right to be innocent until proven guilty and I am exposing the truth about this prosecutor. That is the bottom line.
Tray Smith is a freshman at Escambia Academy. He is a political columnist for the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at

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