August 15, 2005
Tom DeLay Speaking at Justice Sunday II
Tom DeLay, House Majority Leader
Tom DeLay’s reputation as a politician is as “the Hammer,” not as a speaker. But tonight, he gave a remarkably effective and compelling speech.
He began by challenging the audience by saying that “it’s never enough to stand on the sidelines and watch history pass you by.”
He then went on to emphasize the difference between legislators and judges — underscoring that the former makes the law; the latter interprets it. “Elections,” he said, “are the cornerstone of democracy.”
The way we hold our politicians accountable is through the ballot box. But the judiciary, he argued in a turn of phrase that I particularly liked, “has found the public will inconvenient to its designs.” Activists judges, he said, have been using the courts to pass legislation.
Because of the controversy surrounding his appearance, I had low expectations for his speech — I guess I thought he would bring something fairly routine. But instead, Tom DeLay came to play, and he delivered. I found it to be an unexpectedly good, and unflinchingly hard-hitting, speech.
Just what I should have expected from the Hammer.