Contributor Post Created with Sketch. A Tale of Two Unscrupulous Governors

 

NixonRick Scott is a Republican; Jay Nixon is a Democrat. They have this in common, however. Each is the governor of his state; in that capacity, when confronted with a lynch mob stirred up by CNN, NBC, and the like, each demanded that a man be prosecuted; and each did so in circumstances in which it was by no means clear that there was any reason to suppose that the accused had committed a crime.

ScottPolitically, in both cases, demanding that the object of the lynch mob’s rage be prosecuted was in the interest of the governor. Morally, however, this was a craven act involving a sacrifice of the demands of justice for the sake of political advantage. As the police and the local district attorney had determined, George Zimmerman acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin. The evidence available at the time was dispositive, as we now all know. When Scott appointed a special prosecutor, he ruined an innocent man’s life. He bankrupted him, and he put him under the sort of pressure that is apt to unhinge a man and destroy a marriage (as it did).

I am not in a position to judge whether Officer Darren Wilson acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Michael Brown. But there is reason to think that this may well have been the case. Like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown was a young man with a propensity for violence. Like Martin, he was hopped-up when he was shot — and we know that he defied a policeman’s order to get out of the street, where he was interfering with traffic. The rest of the story told by Wilson and others about his conduct may also be true. If Wilson was hospitalized in the immediate wake of this incident with damage to his eye socket, as is claimed, part of that story is almost certainly true.

It is the policy of most police departments to temporarily suspend any officer who shoots a suspect and to conduct an investigation of the incident to determine whether the officer’s use of force was proper. That is at is should be, and it is perfectly appropriate for the local district attorney to conduct his own investigation — especially if there are witnesses who dispute the propriety of the officer’s conduct, as there seem to be in this case. Moreover, the results of the district attorney’s investigation should be made public in a written report. In such circumstances, we have a right to know whether a public servant acted properly. But it is not ethical — indeed, it is a moral outrage — to subject to a criminal prosecution someone who appears to have fired his gun and killed in self-defense.

Rick Scott should have known better. Jay Nixon, who is a lawyer and served for many years as Attorney General of the state of Missouri, does know better. We live in an age of rampant prosecutorial abuse. Rick Scott and Jay Nixon have abused their powers as governors to feed the frenzy of lynch mobs. Neither is worthy of public office.

There are 10 comments.

  1. tigerlily Member

    Agreed.

    • #1
    • August 21, 2014, at 12:26 PM PST
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  2. Look Away Inactive

    We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”

    ― C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

    • #2
    • August 21, 2014, at 12:27 PM PST
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  3. Brian Clendinen Member

    Which is one of the reasons why I most likley will vote from the Democrat Charlie Crist. Crist is a two faced liers and has his problems and in all likelyhood would of done the same thing. However, I really can’t see any diffrence between how he governed the state when he was Republican governor than and how Rick Scot has governed.

    The republican party is way to conformable. Having a Democrat could shake things up. As long as we elect Republicans to the cabinet that are conservative, Crist can’t really do any harm other through veto power. All executive orders in Florida are voted on by the govern and Cabinet with the governs position wining any ties.

    • #3
    • August 21, 2014, at 12:52 PM PST
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  4. donald todd Inactive

    Politics I have heard thy name and it is cowardice.

    • #4
    • August 21, 2014, at 1:13 PM PST
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  5. Pelayo Member

    Brian Clendinen:

    Which is one of the reasons why I most likley will vote from the Democrat Charlie Crist. Crist is a two faced liers and has his problems and in all likelyhood would of done the same thing. However, I really can’t see any diffrence between how he governed the state when he was Republican governor than and how Rick Scot has governed.

    The republican party is way to conformable. Having a Democrat could shake things up. As long as we elect Republicans to the cabinet that are conservative, Crist can’t really do any harm other through veto power. All executive orders in Florida are voted on by the govern and Cabinet with the governs position wining any ties.

    What makes you think Charlie Crist would not have taken the matter further in the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict and tried to repeal the Stand Your Ground Law in Florida? Say what you want about Rick Scott’s lack of moral fortitude, but he has been a staunch advocate for Second Amendment rights in Florida and I would take him over Charlie Crist any day. 

    • #5
    • August 21, 2014, at 1:38 PM PST
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  6. James Gawron Thatcher

    Look Away:

    We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”

    ― C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

     L.A.,

    This is very much it. I would add we babble on and on about collective guilt forgetting what this means for individual responsibility. A trial is all about individual responsibility. The whole collective guilt mentality is completely inappropriate and wholly destructive of justice.

    In this atmosphere transmitted by a news media that can’t hold onto facts and would rather write short stories, our elected officials sell out.

    Get Mark O’Mara for Officer Wilson’s defense council NOW!

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #6
    • August 21, 2014, at 1:53 PM PST
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  7. E. Kent Golding Member

    Brian Clendinen:

    Which is one of the reasons why I most likley will vote from the Democrat Charlie Crist. Crist is a two faced liers and has his problems and in all likelyhood would of done the same thing. However, I really can’t see any diffrence between how he governed the state when he was Republican governor than and how Rick Scot has governed.

    The republican party is way to conformable. Having a Democrat could shake things up. As long as we elect Republicans to the cabinet that are conservative, Crist can’t really do any harm other through veto power. All executive orders in Florida are voted on by the govern and Cabinet with the governs position wining any ties.

     Aren’t there any Third Party candidates to vote for rather than Charlie Crist? A write in for Mickey Mouse? Rick Scott may be bad….. but vote for Charlie Crist? Wouldn’t it be more sanitary to just skip that line on the Ballot?

    • #7
    • August 21, 2014, at 2:54 PM PST
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  8. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe Post author

    I would certainly not vote for Charlie Crist were I a Floridian. But the Rick Scotts of the world must also be made to understand that you do not wantonly put another man’s life on the line in order to placate a mob.

    • #8
    • August 21, 2014, at 3:01 PM PST
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  9. Brian Clendinen Member

    Paul A. Rahe:

    I would certainly not vote for Charlie Crist were I a Floridian. But the Rick Scotts of the world must also be made to understand that you do not wantonly put another man’s life on the line in order to placate a mob.

    I guess I judge politicians by what they do more than by what they say. Crist as
    Govern, was actually more conservative than his rhetoric partly because he had
    a Republican dominated legislator.

    My main reason is the Republican party at the state level is slowly become
    more corrupt because they have not had any real competition in such a long
    time. A Crist win would put fire under their rear ends at not to take this dominance
    for granted. Secondly, Crist actually seems to be a bit more ethical and less arrogant
    based on his history. I would vote for a third party if the state actually
    forced the winner to get 50.1% of the votes. Also, I rather have bad policies and judicial nominations blamed on a Democrat over a Republican.Scott is bad for the Republican brand in Florida. Protecting the Brand is a
    valid secondary consideration. 

    • #9
    • August 22, 2014, at 2:54 PM PST
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  10. Brian Clendinen Member

    Cont.

    Lastly, I happen to be of the opinion if we want to change this nation, it can’t happen if the Democratic party is not reformed and brought to the center. The way politics work I don’t see the Democratic party going away. It has lasted over 200 years and has been the single most influential institution in our nation’s history. Therefore it is important to get true moderates and moderate lefty in the Democratic party, to force the party away from the Netroot nutbags. Crist is actually a player who might actual help make that happen. I really wish Brown would jump ship because I think he is a Liberal but a Federalist liberal which I think would be a great direction for the Democrat party.

    So when policy is virtually the same, larger long-term strategic consideration need to be taken into consideration weighed against the risk. Due to the Cabinet and legislation being able to check Crist power, I actually don’t see much if any additional major down sides but only long term upside to have Crist over Scott. Short-term, Florida is screwed either way.

    • #10
    • August 22, 2014, at 2:59 PM PST
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