Sunday, March 16, 2008

Uh, what: Politics in the Age of Electric Kettles*

I've shared most of what Lindsey Beyerstein has written recently regarding Spitzer's resignation, but this one is a doozy.

Beyerstein has been following this case with a pretty ferocious level of attention. I won't be surprised if this blows up in DoJ's face because of her persistence.

She notes:

Sources: Lawyers for Spitzer negotiate possible plea deal

5:32 PM EDT, March 11, 2008

Lawyers for Gov. Eliot Spitzer are negotiating a possible plea deal with federal prosectuors stemming from his alleged involvement with a prostitution ring, sources said.

Several sources said that the one serious bargaining chip that Spitzer has to possibly avoid being charged with a serious felony, such as money laundering or avoiding federal currency rules, is to work out a deal in which he would give up the governorship. In return, prosecutors would assure him that he only would have to plead at most to a misdemeanor or even less and be in effect guaranteed that he would not have to go to prison. [Newsday]

If the foregoing is true, you could describe the same scenario another way: Federal law enforcement approached the sitting governor of New York and threatened to charge him with felonies unless he resigned his office.

The spin is that Spitzer used his office as a bargaining chip, but it takes two parties to negotiate. It doesn't matter who made the opening bid. If it's true that the feds offered anything in exchange for Spitzer's resignation, we have proof that this was a political sting all along.

I am a little surprised here. So many people are working under the assumption that the Bush DoJ has been thoroughly corrupted (and with good reason) that I would have expected more lefty bloggers to have pointed this out by now. What's up with that?

.. and in case, it's not obvious, what Beyerstein is suggesting is that a federal agency used its clout to force a sitting governor to resign. That's not how the law is supposed to work (the law should care about innocence and guilt and ignore whether or not a person holds office entirely), and if that's still not clear, I'd suggest that this is an indicator that you've accepted full politicization of federal agencies all the way to a subconscious level.

Slowly boiling frogs and all that.

*Not really a reference to anything, but I couldn't think of anything else.


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