Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Senator Arlen Specter (R.-Pa.) deserves credit for one thing. He was, as far as I can tell, the first individual publicly to note that Senator Larry Craig (R.-Id.) did not announce his resignation on Saturday, September 1, 2007, but merely his intent to resign. So on Fox News Sunday, Senator Craig stated "I'd still like to see Senator Craig fight this case... to go back to court, withdraw this guilty plea and fight this case."

If Specter had argued that Craig should not have been forced to resign because the people he represents- the people of the state of Idaho- should have been given the opportunity (at, say, an election, perhaps the upcoming one in November, 2008) to decide his fate, I would have agreed with him. Instead, the Pennsylvania Senator, citing his experience (years ago as District Attorney of the City of Philadelphia), contended "on the evidence Senator Craig wouldn't be found guilty of anything." What Specter left out- which he would understand better than most- was that if Craig were to have been found not guilty, it would not have been based on the evidence, but because Craig could have afforded an expensive and skilled lawyer who would have committed himself to his client. Not so most of the individuals, disproportionately poor, prosecuted by Specter's office in his previous life.

And while the former prosecutor is at it, perhaps he shouldn't claim Craig's "life is on the line." Some of the defendants facing serious felony charges pressed by Specter's office may have had their lives on the line, but not so his colleague- who at worst, will lose his job and face the ignominy of life as a well-paid lobbyist for the drug, insurance, or gun industries he has so vigorously carried water for in the United States Congress.

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