If you’re like me you had reached your limit of coverage of the JFK assassination by the time you woke up this morning. Unfortunately regardless of how perturbed you may be by the narrow scope and density of today’s media coverage it does not influence whether or not the media continues to irritate you by covering the same things it’s covered one hundred times already. Don’t worry, they’ve had somebody staking out a location for this story since the year began. Some network advance guy was sitting at home on January 1st, 2013 and started marking all the anniversaries of the terrible things that have happened in our past on his calender so that he had something to live for this year and like all years the coverage of this event was both over-the-top and unnecessary. As I was telling one of my readers earlier today I don’t look forward to times when conspiracy theorists get to stand outside protesting something that happened some time, somewhere, for a reason that isn’t easily explainable. It’s just a time for those who feel like they have been persecuted to take out their anger on those of us who don’t want to be miserable for the rest of our lives and we shouldn’t put up with it. JFK is dead. There’s nothing to protest. It’s been half a century. Get over it.
I’m not a cold-hearted bastard or anything, I understand that people died and some take longer to grieve than others but fifty years guys? If I live to 2051 and we’re still griping about 9/11 I’m gonna be pretty pissed. No, it wasn’t a conspiracy and I don’t say that because I’m on the payroll of one of the many corporations theorists think are secretly controlling the world it’s because I know that the Bush administration was simply too incompetent to pull off something as complicated as 9/11 with the kind of clockwork efficiency that the terrorists had. When I hear these people I just think to myself: do you remember Hurricane Katrina? That wasn’t an inter-governmental bureaucratic failure it was a failure of people who were put in a position of trust to get the job done and there were a lot of folks who wanted to help during Hurricane Katrina but couldn’t because our government was run by a bunch of morons. I don’t just use Hurricane Katrina as an example of the incompetence of the Bush administration either. Remember Iraq? Yeah, that nice mideast hotspot where we were going to be “greeted as liberators” and the war would pay for itself because of the insane amount of oil revenue we were going to get. That worked out well.
I could go on and on about the failures of the Bush administration and often have if you’re interested in becoming extremely depressed in a very short amount of time. However, as a country we need to move on from these events and focus on the things we’re doing wrong now. Take embattled Mayor Rob Ford for instance, who has a higher approval rating than President Obama. I get that people are frustrated over the launch of the Obamacare website, but really? You’re going to give the benefit of the doubt to a guy who deals in illicit substances, threatens to kill people and makes offensive comments to kids? I was talking about Rush Limbaugh there in case you didn’t catch on. Yes, Rush Limbaugh used a rape analogy to talk about filibuster reform because that makes sense. I had an idea a few years back that if only our discourse could rise to the level of our ideas then maybe we would be a better nation for it. How naive I was! The truth is that next year Republicans, despite failing their constituents and their country terribly by implementing a sequester that has stammered economic growth and has routinely threatened to default on our debt, will somehow be re-elected? How can this be, you ask? How does a body of people with a 9% approval rating get re-elected? Naive Americans, meet Tom DeLay.
Tom DeLay effectively held the reins of Congress while Dennis Hastert was Speaker of the House during the Bush administration. Tom DeLay was also, until a month ago, a convicted felon. Tom DeLay used corporate money to pay for local house races – which in and of itself is somehow not illegal – but the means by which he obtained the money was. DeLay used that money to gerrymander the re-districting process in 2003. What this effectively means is that if you happen to live in a district where there aren’t a lot of minorities your district will be run by a Republican and if you happen to live in a district with a lot of minorities then all the minorities from outside that district also count among your counties residents. This is how we wound up with Congressional districts as big as Oklahoma in the middle of the state of Wisconsin. Yet, African-American voters have just one, yes count it – one representative from a city that houses more almost half a million African-Americans. In short, there are more minorities in Milwaukee than there are white people in Waukesha county and for those of you not from Wisconsin there are A LOT of white people in Waukesha county – so many that it tipped the balance of a Supreme Court race in 2012 (just ask Dave Weigel about it.)
What’s truly remarkable about what Tom DeLay did was that he managed to redistrict Texas in such a way that Republicans gained seats in Congress in 2004 despite the fact that they did not have a net gain outside of the state of Texas. That is remarkable. It is also illegal. What makes it illegal is the bundling of soft money from corporate bunglers and turning it into hard money that can be spent on elections. That is money laundering and it is illegal. One month ago, Tom DeLay’s conviction on multiple counts of money laundering was overturned by a Texas appeals court. Why? If you guessed redestricting you’ve been paying attention! The point is that it is not always the things you see that are the biggest crimes. What Tom DeLay did has altered the future of elections in the United States of America and it is this that we should be focusing on because it impacts us all and it is impacting us all right now.