It looks like Obama's Justice Department has been fighting the good fight against corruption in politics, something all of us can agree that law enforcement ought to be doing. Within just the last week, felony indictments were announced against ex-Virginia Governor McDonnell for what amounts to bribery and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza for illegal campaign donations. A major IRS investigation is also under way against "Friends of Abe," a Hollywood nonprofit which allegedly illegally used tax-deductible donations for unpermitted political purposes.
One peculiarity: All of these groups or people being investigated are conservatives. All of them are on record as publicly opposing Barack Obama's administration and goals.
You'd expect this from a Republican ex-governor in what once was a conservative state; you certainly wouldn't expect that from a filmmaker much less any group in Hollywood. So much money given to politicians by Hollywood stars, so many Democrat fundraising groups throughout the entertainment industry, and yet the, what, one single solitary conservative group that nobody's ever even heard of just so happens to be the one breaking the law?
It is in the nature of politicians to be corrupt. In no way is this restricted to Democrats, though we've long waxed eloquent against famously corrupt Democrat pols like Charlie Rangel, Maxine Waters, and half of Obama's cabinet appointees. One needn't look further than Mr. Obama's political home state of Illinois to find no shortage of Republican crooks and thieves: nearly half of Illinois' recent governors have gone to jail, evenly split between the parties.
There will always be an inherent conflict of interest in investigations of political corruption: it's easy to accuse the investigator of doing the will of his political masters, overlooking the crimes of his allies and picking at the nits of his opponents. That is why it is absolutely essential for everyone involved in these cases to be as pure as Caesar's wife. At the first shred of suspicion of political taint, all future investigations will automatically be suspect.
The problem is, there has been an abundance of political taint for years now. How can we have any confidence in the fairness of the IRS's investigation of "Friends of Abe," when it's been proven that the IRS was unjustly handling Tea Party groups under the exact same sections of the law? The FBI was ordered to investigate but closed the case saying there were no crimes committed - without even talking to most of the groups they abused. Since the FBI is part of the Justice Department, how can we have any confidence in their impartiality in these more recent cases?
You might say, "Well, the accused has their day in court where the truth will come out." You're forgetting that it takes many millions of dollars even to get ready for court: Mark Steyn was sued for calling out lies published by Climategate "scientist" Michael Mann, has spent over a million dollars on his defense, and the court hasn't even yet ruled whether there's a case to be answered in court.
That's how our system works. The problem is that our system is premised on an assumption of basic honesty by its functionaries: yes, witnesses might lie, but the lawyers, judges, prosecutors, expert witnesses, and so on are assumed to recognize the higher authority of Truth and to always honor it.
Alaska's Sen. Ted Stevens discovered the hard way that this doesn't apply anymore; he was convicted on corruption charges the day before his re-election, which he understandably lost. The good citizens of Alaska won't tolerate crooks representing them in Washington!
Imagine the surprise of the voters when, a few months later, the judge dismissed the case and overturned the conviction. Why? Because the federal prosecutors had intentionally hidden evidence that they knew to prove Sen. Stevens innnocent, and lied about it under oath in court.
Isn't that perjury? Isn't perjury a felony? Aren't those prosecutors behind bars today? Nope: they're still collecting government salaries and presumably lying about other innocent defendants. They were briefly suspended from their jobs, but a judge back home in Washington DC overturned their suspensions. For all we know, they could be working on the investigations of Mr. D'Souza and "Friends of Abe."
To anyone who might be cooking up a lawsuit for libel: we are not saying that they are, in fact, personally involved in malicious, fraudulent, political wrongthink prosecutions of conservatives. We have no idea what they're up to.
What we do know, though, is that they paid no serious price for out-and-out legal fraud. Are you surprised when we point out that Sen. Stevens was a Republican and he was replaced in office by a Democrat who cast the 60th vote for Obamcare?
The problem with these prosecutions, with Mr. Obama's utterly corrupt Justice Department, and with the monster that our justice system has become goes much further than mere partisan politics. The first defense of every accused corrupt politician is that his political enemies are out to get him.
The fact is, there have always been corrupt politicians in every party and there always will be. It is the job of government investigators to root them out wherever they can, to arrest, to prosecute, to convict, and to imprison them. We'll never get rid of corruption totally but we can at least make it as risky as possible.
We applaud when truly corrupt Republicans are removed from office and thrown in the hoosegow, just as we applaud when that happens to Democrats. It needs to happen a lot more often than it does.
As things stand, we have no confidence in anything the Justice Department is doing; no rational person would. A President who truly believed in the rule of law would have fired everyone within his reach, root and branch and started over after the Stevens prosecution - or after "Fast and Furious," or after the IRS scandal, or after the scandalous FBI non-investigation of the IRS scandal. But no.
Sooner or later, ordinary Americans will stop showing respect for law and justice. When that happens, it'll be
Over the past five years, the editors have been secretly working on a book that summarizes the fundamental viewpoints of Scragged.