Stepping into the debate over the Supreme Court nomination of Judge John G. Roberts Jr., Representative Tom DeLay, the majority leader, has agreed to appear in a telecast called "Justice Sunday II" to rally conservative Christian support for remaking the court.
Mr. DeLay's planned appearance adds the imprimatur of a top Republican elected official to the event, which seeks to call attention to what its organizers say is the Supreme Court's hostility to Christianity and traditional families in its decisions about abortion, homosexuality and government support for religion. It will be broadcast to churches and Christian television stations and distributed as a video.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and the principal organizer, called Mr. DeLay, of Texas, "a natural fit" with the program.
A natural fit. Being investigated for his shady campaign dealings. A natural fit. Axed the Republican chairman of the House Ethics Committee and installed his own Texas homeboy to help him avoid being investigated or disciplined by the House. A natural fit. Browbeat fellow party members to reverse the House edict requiring members to step down from party leadership if indicted. A natural fit.
But there's more.
Apparently, a member of God's Own Circus helped convince Sandra Day O'Connor to retire. Let's listen:
In a televised prayer on Tuesday for Judge Roberts's confirmation, for example, the television evangelist Pat Robertson asked his viewers to pray: "Take control, Lord! We ask for additional vacancies on the court." (A "prayer point" on the Web site for Mr. Robertson's "Supreme Court Freedom Project" includes "additional vacancies" as well.)
The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, called the prayer "ghoulish," saying, "The only way people leave the court these days is through death or infirmity."
But a spokeswoman for Mr. Robertson said he was praying only for retirements, not deaths, noting that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor had retired after his prayer was first posted.
Consider this last statement very carefully. Let it loiter in your mind for a few minutes, allowing each word to settle down comfortable into the recesses of your imagination.
So, Pat Robertson prays, and what passes for a moderate, mainstream conservative justice decides to pack it in, opening her position for someone more favorable to the radical right's agenda.