Criminalizing the opposition

The DeLay case provides a study in both the criminalization of political opponents as well as prosecutorial abuse of power. David Bossie describes The lynching of Tom DeLay as an example.

Despite the fact that the election laws didn’t cover DeLay’s activity, Mr. Earle indicted him. The charges were thrown out by the presiding judge. Undeterred, Mr. Earle went to a different grand jury to indict DeLay, but this time the grand jury didn’t go along with it and refused to return an indictment.

But, try, try again! Persistence is a hallmark of delusion. The third attempt was more successful. That needed new charges, new juries, and fresh ‘interpretations’ of campaign finance law.

The outcome might be satisfactory if you think DeLay and all he represents are evil. The question is about whether deciding someone is guilty and then doing whatever is necessary to prove it is a proper approach when the stated values are ‘innocent until proven guilty.’ Effective politicians are not the only ones being subject to the presumed guilt ethos. Whether it is cops arresting street photographers or people yelling “racist” at the drop of a hat, or even the ‘they all lie’ crowd, the tactic should be troublesome and worthy of introspection about values.

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