Cheney Speaks for DeLay

The following is an advance copy of Vice President Dick Cheney’s remarks on behalf of Tom DeLay at the legal defense fund dinner to pay for DeLay’s legal expenses.

My fellow sleazebags. As I look down at this audience of fat cats who suck the blood of the state as if it were their own, I am filled with a sense of gratification that I am not alone in standing up for America’s biggest phony, and that includes the president and myself. That all of you have forked up a grand a piece so a pack of Washington sharks can make a bundle off of Tom’s legal troubles proves to me that the system is in tact, notwithstanding the cowardly criticisms coming from the anarcho-radicals of the left wing of the Democratic Party.

I was, like many of you, proud of Tom when he proclaimed "I AM the federal government." Not since Louis XIV has a public figure so accurately portrayed his role. Indeed, I have it on good information that, like Tom here, at least a hundred congressmen and senators are all under scrutiny by the Justice Department for the kind of patriotic rip-offs that Tom stands for, like fleecing Indian tribes so Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed can become billionaires. Is Tom a role model or what?

Take it from me as one who has looted a gigantic corporation, Halliburton, and bringing it to the verge of bankruptcy by buying a company facing vast liability for asbestos negligence and then bailing it out with billions on no bid contracts for a war in Iraq I launched as vice president, that it takes guts to outdo me. But Tom did it. And he did it with style. Once known as "Hot tub Tom" for his old frat party ways, he got religion, just like our great president did after his booze episodes.

So why is Tom in hot water today? And why are his aides getting indicted? So he laundered a few bucks to make illegal campaign contributions in Texas. That’s like bringing coal to Newcastle, if you get my drift. Is there such a thing as a clean campaign in Texas? Do the Democrats, who got Tom indicted, ever mention how Landslide Lyndon got elected to the Senate? A buck here, a buck there, and it ads up. Hey, this is an indigenous culture that is in need of preservation in the name of diversity. As far as what Tom did or is alleged to have done, all I can say is, to paraphrase Claude Raines in Casablanca "I am shocked, shocked, to learn that things like this go on."

What we have to day is a serious threat to an entire way of life in Washington, just like the threat to the way of life of those same American Indians Jack Abramoff has worked so hard to help. If Tom DeLay goes to jail, who might be next? Before you know it, they could have the entire federal government in the can, and where would the country be then? I’ll tell you where it would be. It would be hopeless and helpless without the culture of corruption based on man’s basic need for deceit and hypocrisy. Where would the writers be? The playwrights and moviemakers like George Clooney and Michael Moore? Without us, they would be on the breadline. Think of the thousands of people who would be thrown out of work. The investigative journalists would have to get honest jobs, like truck driver or dog walker. The prosecutors would be forced to become bartenders or go back to Ireland. Without us, the economy would not be pumped up with federal spending on military contracts that were awarded as the result of bribery. Don’t let anyone lie to you. We NEED this war in Iraq and Tom is one of the upfront guys that brought it to you.

And that is why this pack of ingrates is looking to bring him down. There isn’t one ounce of gratitude in any of them. You would think they would be kissing Tom’s designer Italian shoes the way they have all benefited from his patriotic pilfering of the public purse. And if you think the great Spiro Agnew inspired those alliterations, you are right. Those same types drove that great statesman from office just because he took a few groceries from friends while he was governor of Maryland, the only state to rival Texas as the nation’s capital of sleaze. But does anyone even remember Agnew today, forced out as vice president before the impeachment of "I’m Not a Crook" Richard Nixon?

I know what you are thinking now. That this is a familiar scenario and that the same thing is going to happen all over again. Thirty years ago, a brave president presiding over an unwinnable war who launched a policy of Vietnamization and supported a tyrant in Ethiopia is impeached after the lynching of his vice president, with his two top aides, Halderman and Erlichman indicted and sent to the hoosegow. Then, his Ethiopian puppet got overthrown. And now, there is me, and Liddy and Rove and Iraqization and the new tyrants in Ethiopia we back for reasons of national security. And let me tell you, if Tom goes to the can, can George W. Bush be far behind? When those commie sharks smell blood, its doomsday for America. They will even pull the plug on those essential new Ethiopian tyrants we fund to fight war on terrorism on the Horn of Africa.

If you think this is history repeating itself, you are right. Which is why I am here tonight to tell you that writing big checks for Tom to pay his lawyers is in all of our interests. Louis XIV did not only say "L’etat est moi ("I am the state"). He also said, "Apres moi le deluge." Which means, "After me, the flood," O.K., so in our case, the flood has already happened. The entire French Establishment, king and all, ended up getting their heads lopped off, and we wouldn’t want that to happen to us, would we?

My friends, I say to you tonight, when they complain that the war in bankrupting the country "Let them eat cake." And as I look down on my plate, I see that we have cake for dessert. So dig in.

Thank you.

Richard Cummings [send him mail] taught international law at the Haile Selassie I University and before that, was Attorney-Advisor with the Office of General Counsel of the Near East South Asia region of U.S.A.I.D, where he was responsible for the legal work pertaining to the aid program in Israel, Jordan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is the author of a new novel, The Immortalists, as well as The Pied Piper — Allard K. Lowenstein and the Liberal Dream, and the comedy, Soccer Moms From Hell. He holds a Ph.D. in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University and is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. He is writing a new book, The Road To Baghdad — The Money Trail Behind The War In Iraq. He is a contribution editor for The American Conservative.