The likelihood of convicted felon Tom DeLay ever spending even one night in the big house is, I fear, low. It's not that I don't fervently wish for him to lose his undeserved freedom and multi-thousand-dollar suits in favor of an orange coverall with "PRISONER" stencilled across both front and back.
DeLay is one of those comic book villains I'd most like to see imprisoned. He's a political good fella who mistakes his self-righteousness for actual righteousness.
DeLay will appeal. He claims to have spent $8 million on his defense, but you can be sure that not a cent of it came out of his own pocket. He will take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary. And the conservative majority is primed to declare Texas's century-old prohibition on corporate contributions unconstitutional. After all, corporations are people too! What about their feelings!
At that point, the money laundering conviction is moot, and mooting it makes the conspiracy conviction moot, too.
On the steps of the Supreme Court, in front of the door that's no longer open to the public, DeLay will smugly announce his exoneration. He'll forever attack his prosecution as a political persecution, and the media will dutifully print his bullshit.
So, in anticipation of disappointment, let's review what DeLay did that brought upon him the force of the legal system:
- After the 2000 federal census, Texas redistricted its Congressional seats in a way that didn't provide for as many Republican-friendly seats as DeLay wanted.
- DeLay planned to take over the Texas lege (homage to Molly Ivins!) and re-redistrict purely for partisan Republican advantage - even though this had never been done before.
- To do this, he raised $190,000 dollars from corporate sources.
- But he had a problem: Texas law forbade spending this money on legislative races.
- No problemo! Wash the money through the RNC.
- He also had to overcome Texas Democrats' procedural attempts to prevent another bite at the redistricting apple.
- To do this, DeLay involved federal national security agencies to track down the Democrats.
- GOP win! A six-vote swing to the Republicans in Congress...