Friday, May 12, 2006

DeLay Sets Date for Departure

So would anyone care to wager on who will be the first out the door, Karl Rove or Tom DeLay? The odds at the moment favor DeLay, who has set a date of June 9th as his last day representing Texas Congressional District 22. And to be honest, I'm getting kind of worried here. We've only been blogging for three months, and already we're losing our number one favorite target--not to be confused with subject, as in the subject of an investigation, which brings us to Mr. Fitzgerald. If the rumors about Karl are true, it could be any day now...

Fortunately, the Bush administration is the gift that keeps on giving. I'm pretty sure we're still going to have a few scandals to chew on around here. And although the Houston Chronicle article doesn't mention him, Texas House Representative Robert Talton is reportedly still in the running for DeLay's seat. To my mind, Talton taking over DeLay's seat is a little like John Roberts taking Rehnquist's on the Supreme Court -- it's not so bad as long as you're replacing a conservative with another conservative, right?

Talton, as you may recall, is infamous for his introduction of legislation banning gays and lesbians from serving as foster parents. The legislation failed, but for a little insight into Mr. Talton's psyche, I quote from a House Committee on State Affairs in 2003:
[Rep. Mike Villareal, D-San Antonio]: You're talking about the sexual orientation of the parent, not the child.
...
RT: Right. Of the foster parent, or the alleged foster parent.... Some of us believe that's a learned behavior; you're not born that way. And so if it's a learned behavior, then if you're taught that that conduct is OK, then that's what they're gonna do. We know that it's a learned behavior on sex offenders ... same thing with this, it's a learned behavior. Same thing with pedophiles -- it's all a learned behavior.
Groans of disbelief from the audience.
MV: Is that a religious opinion?
RT: No, I think that's probably the majority of Texans.
Audience laughs; committee Chair Ken Marchant, R-Coppell, scolds the crowd.
MV: I also sit on Human Services [Committee] and our number one priority is placing children with caring, nurturing, loving parents, period. ... Are you concerned that we are going to be holding this value of yours above this other priority?
RT: Quite frankly, I don't look at those that may be homosexuals as parents as such. ... We think of a parent -- y'all heard DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act] -- as a mother and a father and not persons of homosexual conduct. And I would put that value ahead of the value of foster care. Quite frankly, if it was me I would rather [leave] kids in orphanages. ... At least they have a chance of learning the proper values, and if that's not important, than I don't know what is.
Values are important, but there's something missing here. Bonding. It's the key to the emotional development of a child, and it depends on the relationship between caregiver and child. And orphanages sucked at providing it. That's why we did away with them. If bonding doesn't take place, the child fails to develop a conscience, becomes obsessively focused on meeting her own needs, and has trouble empathizing with others.

Now I know what you're thinking, but there is no way that the entire Republican legislature was raised in an orphanage. Anyway, we're anxiously awaiting Tom DeLay's replacement. We'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

Bradley Bowen said...

Talton is a freak! I remember when he first introduced his amendment and I called all of the representatives on the committee... here's the text of a blog I wrote about it on May 3, 2005:


A hot-button issue in the Texas Legislature at the moment is the Talton Amendment to Senate Bill 6. The amendment was rolled into the bill approved by the House of Representatives that, as expected, would also lower caseloads for investigators and hand over to private agencies some of the duties associated with protecting Texas children. This amendment would use government money to probe into the lives of any potential foster parents to determine their sexuality in an attempt to prohibit homosexual couples from adopting. The bill is now in conference committee and the author of the amendment itself, Rep. Robert Talton (R-Pasadena) has been appointed to it. Committee members opposed to the amendment are Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Lewisville), Sen. Jon Lindsay (R-Houston), Sen. Eliot Shapleigh (D-El Paso), and Rep. Toby Goodman (R-Arlington). Other committee members such as Sen. Kyle Janek (R-Houston), Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo), and Rep. Carlos Uresti (D-San Antonio) were unavailable for comment.

However, there is at least one swing voter in the conference committee. Rep. Suzanna Gratia-Hupp (R-Lampasas) feels that what two consenting adults do behind closed doors is none of the government's business; however, if an older child were put into a homosexual foster family, they may already have pre-conceived notions about homosexuality. Her secretary was unsure how the representative planned to vote.

This ridiculous amendment would create heavy costs for children, families and taxpayers. Luckily, Sen. Nelson, the author of the bill designed to overhaul the state's protective service agencies, has come out publicly against Rep. Talton's amendment. Nelson said she is concerned that the ban on gay foster parents would probably become a magnet for lawsuits and that it might cause upheaval for the thousands of children in homes where the foster parents might be gay or bisexual.

The Bottom Line: Do you want your tax dollars spent on investigations that aim to remove children from safe and stable homes?