At the risk of sounding too clever, how about this observation in the case of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom Delay of Texas, who was sentenced to three years in prison on money laundering and conspiracy convictions this week: It looks like “The Hammer” now knows what it’s like to be the nail.
OK, stop the groaning. Delay is a classic how-the-mighty-have-fallen story. At his apex he was one of the most powerful men in Washington, leading the Republicans in the House and raising millions of dollars for GOP candidates with a style that earned him that descriptive nickname.
Delay claims he was railroaded in Travis County, one of the most Democratic counties in otherwise mostly Republican Texas. But a jury was convinced he maneuvered to illegally channel corporate donations to state House candidates in 2002. “Everything I did was covered by accountants and lawyers telling me what I had to do to stay within the law,” said Delay, who served in Congress from 1984 to 2006. “I can’t be remorseful for something I don’t think I did.” Remorseful or not, Delay appears headed for another house, the Big House. He is appealing.