World Summary

SHOW TRIAL

Prosecuting an elected official is not and should not be turned into a reality show. It's serious business. A conviction would put a man in jail and, because of his position, change history and the balance of power in Washington. Yet Earle is approaching it with all the seriousness of a carnival barker. "Step right up and watch me defy logic! Watch me conjure up an indictment out of thin air!"

These film makers have been following Earle around with cameras for two years. I can tell you from the personal experience of following people around with cameras that once you start down that road you change their behavior. The longer you keep the camera trained on them, the more you change them--not less. They get used to you being there, but if they're the subject of the piece, they will either begin to play to the camera or they will begin to shrink from it. Hardly anyone's behavior remains exactly the same as it would have been if you weren't there watching their every move. No matter how unobtrusive you can be--and I am a ninja when I'm behind the camera--you cannot avoid changing something about how your subject behaves and speaks. You have to work to keep the change you create to a minimum.

As late as Sept. 19 of this year, it seemed unlikely that Ronnie Earle would get an indictment of DeLay. Yet now he has one, secured on the final day of the current grand jury's work. Doesn't that just make a swell cap to the second act of a film? Act III will be the Trial of the Century. Step right up!

I'm not saying that the film makers consciously goaded Earle into rigging up the indictment. I don't think that happened. I am saying that their presence over an extended period of time and inside the the process very likely changed Earle's behavior on live jasmin. He was already an ideologue and he already had an itch to get DeLay. Among other things, DeLay was responsible for redrawing Texas' electoral map, resulting in making the state's Congressional representation reflect its Republican values. It had been a majority Republican state with a majority Democrat delegation in Congress thanks to a wildly gerrymandered map concocted by the Democrats in the early 1990s. DeLay committed the unpardonable sin of restoring democracy to Texas. So Democrats like Earle went after him. With the film makers in tow, Earle became an actor in the middle of going after a rival he had been drawing a bead on for some time. The partisan prosecutor became a drama queen. A movie stah!!

Add that to the fact that Earle shook down the corporations involved in the case and worked out a deal by which they would donate cash in exchange to one of his pet causes. Add to that that a couple of months ago Earle gave a political fundraiser speech in which he featured the DeLay case as if it was more a political dispute and less a criminal probe. Add to that that the indictment is empty, points to no actual lawbreaking and may not even be based on law that's relevant to DeLay.

Add all that up. I'm going to describe it with a very loaded word. Before you react, think about why I'm using it.

What Earle is doing is, in the true meaning of the word, un-American. You don't take people to court to face criminal charges in America without a good reason. You don't resort to the legal process to obtain political power that you can't win at the ballot box in America. You don't abuse your powers as a prosecutor to hound political rivals who have had the gall to defeat your party in America. But Earle is doing all of those things, along with shaking down corporations and the rest.

Democrats will reply, no doubt, that Ken Starr did all of those things to Bill Clinton and therefore fits my definition of un-American. They're wrong. Clinton actually committed a crime in office--perjury. He suborned the perjury of others. Starr's investigation centered on those concrete crimes. And Starr was appointed to the task by others. Earle made getting DeLay the center of his official business by his own free choice.

Some conservatives have argued that the Republicans should jettison DeLay because he is now damaged goods. Others have argued that the indictment alone must mean he's guilty of something. And others from jasmin live have argued that DeLay's troubles provide an opportunity for the party to get rid of a controversial or ineffective player and replace him with someone better.

Since when is being controversial a disqualifier for office? If that's our standard, prepare to surrender all of your values to the most obnoxious and most easily offended people in America. Since when does an indictment equal proven guilt? If that's your standard, prepare to watch dozens of elected Republicans indicted right out of office on accusations every bit as weak as those against DeLay. Since when are leaders automatically damaged for life just because some partisan foe smears them? If that's your standard, pretty soon there won't be a Republican in any office in the land. And if DeLay's effectiveness is the issue, then take him out of leadership at a time when it will help the cause, not when it just hands the insane opposition an easy victory. These are all terrible arguments in my opinion and they easily fall apart.

And all of those arguments miss a very basic point: DeLay is innocent until proven guilty. He has the right to defend himself. He has already given up his leadership post, as he should. He'll fight the charge and he'll beat it, but in the mean time he faces the possibility of jail time. He faces the possibility of losing his job and his freedom, not to mention whatever is left of his reputation. And for what? What is he guilty of?

Nothing. Therefore stringing him up now, when he is being hounded by an out of control prosecutor, is un-American. At least let DeLay face down the charges in court or as far as Earle is willing to take them before you decide what should be done with him.

UPDATE: The Political Teen (what's Ian going to do when he turns 20?) has video of York discussing the film on FNC.

A FEW OF MY LEAST FAVORITE THINGS

1. Emails demanding that Blogger X apologize for taking Controversial Stand Y that turned out later to be wrong (or wrong in the mind of Reader Z, anyway). We all get stuff wrong once in a while, and no two bloggers are going to agree about everything all of the time. But demands that someone apologize for taking a stand are silly and chilling. The only way to guarantee that you'll never get anything wrong is to never take any stand on anything. If that's what you want, stop reading Live Sex Chat blogs.

Note, by the way, that we've taken a minority position on DeLay at this blog, as we took a minority position on FEMA vs Louisiana officials. Those position have been vindicated repeatedly in the past few days and weeks. Lots of conservatives whom I respect have taken positions opposite to this blog's on those issues, yet I haven't singled them out personally for criticism or demanded anything of them, apologies or anything else. I just think such demands are petty. And at some point down the road, I am going to get something wrong. It's inevitable when you take as many stands as we do on this blog and run out on as many limbs as we do. I know that the courtesy I'm affording my fellow conservatives now will be afforded back to me when we're wrong. Liberals...well, that'll be a different story. It always is. They do very little in good faith anymore. That's just a fact. The proof is how they treat the war. When Clinton was in office, the liberals would have followed him straight to Baghdad. But with Bush in office, they won't follow him across the street. Same war, same nasty opponent, same place, different commander--totally different behavior. Squaring that with good faith actions is impossible.

2. De-linking campaigns. I just think they're counterproductive. 'Nuff said.

MORE: What did I say about liberals acting in bad faith?

RONNIE EARLE: BLUES BROTHER

District Attorney Ronnie Earle is on a mission from God:

Wow. Imagine if a Republican went around misquoting the Bible like this. Imagine if a Republican went around talking about devil's brews and applying his misjudgements to partisan issues.

Theologically, Earle is just wrong. The Bible never says money is the root of all evil. In 1 Timothy 6:10 it does say that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, but that's very different from saying that money is the root of all evil. Clearly the focus of the actual verse is on the mind and heart, not the inanimate object we use to buy things. So Ronnie is dealing in some heretical thinking. Anyway.

Let's look on the bright side. At least one Democrat sees terrorism as being as much of a problem as campaign financing.

Please read my post from last night ("Show Trial")about the effect that cameras have on people. This scene confirms my suspicion that Earle is living out that Shakespearean line about all the world being a stage. And he's a shameless ham playing out his part.

Read the whole article. It finishes with two damning vignettes about Earle's behavior as it relates to his official duties and specifically to his view of the law.

The man is a zealot. His case against DeLay is a fraud.

UPDATE: Roll the video tape! Note particularly Clip 3 for lead actor Ronnie's Earle's star turn. Clip 4 features Earle equating the threats of terrorism and campaign finance. Clip 5 is a hatchet job that ignores why Texas should have been redistricted.

ELIAN GONZALEZ

The young boy whom Janet Reno sent back to Cuba at the point of a gun has been thoroughly indoctrinated by the Castro regime in the five years since.

It's important to remember how Gonzalez ended up going from tyranny to freedom and back to tyranny again. It all happened due to the work of a long-time Democrat operative disguised as a prominent medical doctor.

In the spring of 2000, the nation was rocked by a debate over the fate of the then six-year-old Cuban boy. Elian Gonzalez had survived a harrowing trip to freedom from Castros sunny gulag across the 90-mile straight separating it from south Florida, a trip that had cost him his mother. Elian wound up in the care of his relatives in Miami, many of whom had crossed that same stretch of water to escape Castro themselves. Those relatives wanted to keep him in the United States to honor his mothers wishes and because they believed his life here would be better than it could be in Cuba. His estranged father, who still lived in Cuba, wanted him back and a court case ensued.

The Clinton administration had been working for years to thaw relations between the US and Cuba. The Gonzalez case threatened to undo much of that work, and so it was clear that the administration leaned toward sending the boy back. But to send him back to Cuba was political thorny and morally questionable: Children do not belong to their parents in Castros workers paradise, but are instead property of the state. And in any case, given the extent of the secret police in Cuba, it wasnt clear that Elians father was speaking his own mind when he demanded his sons return. He could be making such demands under threat from the Communist regime.

Enter Dr. Irwin Redlener. In an April 18, 2000 letter to Attorney General Janet Reno and the Immigration and Naturlization Service, Dr. Redlener proclaimed Elian Gonzalez is now in a state of imminent danger to his physical and emotional well-being in a home that I consider to be psychologically abusive." Dr. Redlener claimed to see obvious signs of a very distressed, angry and coached young boy being exploited, much the same as we'd see in a hostage situation when such videotapes are being made, and concluded I believe there is no justification whatsoever to wait any longer in carrying out these actions that I believe are legally appropriate and, more important, clearly in the best interest of this child who continues to be horrendously exploited in this bizarre and destructive ambiance. It has gone on far too long.

Dr. Redlener never actually met Elian Gonzalez or spoke with him. He made this diagnosis from watching a video tape made by the boys relatives. And keep in mind Dr. Redlener isnt even a psychiatrist or psychologist. He describes himself as a pediatrician-child advocate on his web site. His diagnonsis amounted to quackery.

Redleners Reno/INS letter built the case that the Clinton administration used to seize the young boy at the point of a gun and eventually send him back to Castros clutches. Photographs of the pre-dawn raid on Easter weekend of 2000 showing young Elian in his cousins arms, terrified at the sight of heavily armed police troopers invading the house to take him, shocked the world. The situation undoubtedly also put the first grader Elian into the very levels of extreme stress Dr. Redlener claimed to be hoping to stop.

After overstepping the bounds of medical ethics so egregiously in the Gonzalez case that more than one medical association called for him to be investigated, Redlener wasnt content to live a life outside the spotlight

Not surprisingly, he also shows up in the next Presidential election cycle as a media expert cited by the MSM-Kerry campaign to blame Bush for the flu vaccine "shortage" that turned out to be just a politically-generated panic meant to scare the elderly into voting for Kerry. This was one of the first attempts before Hurricane Katrina to paint Bush as a mass-murderer at heart who supposedly targets key Democrat Party voting blocs for death.

After failing to get Bush last flu season, ABC recently used him to lead off its Bird Flu investigative report against Bush.Bird flu is a growing threat. But Dr. Redlener is hardly a dispassionate source for a credible quote.

If you thought the Katrina FEMA blame was silly, just wait until the Bird Flu pandemic starts. We'll probably see Democrats calling for George Bush to be tried by the UN and executed for crimes against humanity. Dr. Irwin Redlener will be their expert witness.

He's also the key expert quoted in this 2005 NY Times column by Nicholas Kristof. It argues that the communists in Cuba and China provide better health care than America does for children. As far back as 1993, Redlener was a special White House advisor to First Lady Hillary Clintons ill-fated and massive health care system overhall. And now it looks like Dr Redlener and the MSM are gearing up early for a Hillarycare 2008 campaign. Expect to seem him booked solid.