Outside the Capital Hilton on 16th Street in Washington one evening in May, you might have seen a demonstrator dressed like an old-fashioned carnival barker in a colorful vest and a straw boater. Around his neck he had hung a sign reading “DeLay is SCUM.” In a less politically polarized city, an observer might have thought that, even if the majority leader of the House of Representatives were guilty of everything being alleged against him, “scum” would not be quite the term that a rational person would use to describe him in a human environment that includes among its lower forms of life rapists and child-murderers. If Tom DeLay is scum, what is Saddam Hussein—one of whose political specialities was murdering children? But then there seems not to be a whole lot of overlap between those who think of Representative DeLay as scum and those who know or care about the crimes of Saddam Hussein. Politics in...


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