Wednesday, September 1, 2010
DUE PROCESS - September 2, 2010
It is interesting to see how the processes of law impact differently on people of differing social positions and resources. I am looking today at the behavior of the legal process in the cases of ex-Governor Blagojevich of IL and ex-House whip Delay of TX. In the one case, he was overheard bemoaning that it was not possible for him to cash in on a unique opportunity to profit from his political position, as so many others had done before him, and in the other, he was proven to have profited from his own. The apparent logic seems to be that Blagojevich was revealed to be greedy, though unavailing, while Delay was shown to be successfully corrupt, if possibly not proven beyond reasonable doubt. In the one case, Blagojevich was shown to be a Bad Man, and the federal attorney has promised to have him punished for the moral lapse, while the other managed to get his case dismissed by the Department of Justice (?) because doubt about its legal certainty hangs on a thin thread. Of course, Delay comes from TX, a state almost as widely considered morally corrupt as IL, except that he found a way to collect his booty with support from those who share his degree of exemption from the fingers of the Law. In fact, the situation of those exposed as morally corrupt is that they can be punished without any such due process, while “solid citizens” can often get away with open flouting of the law. TX conservatives, of course, are considered solid citizens, and their Party stands behind them, so Obama’s administration turns them free. Meanwhile, the US Attorney has made himself the agent of the Wrath of God, so that anything so strict and formal as certainty is not required when harassing a Democrat of working class roots. In this administration, the nature of one’s persona might be sufficient to respect the façade of a GOP grandee, while Obama’s regime might otherwise extract vengeance in a case of bare suspicion.