Saturday, June 30, 2007

Where is the outrage?

“Where is the outrage?” On November 15, 2003, well within President George W. Bush’s first term, Cornel West asked this question of those who were attending the annual convention of the Democratic Socialists of America, held in Detroit that year.*

Three and a half years later, I’m asking “Where is the outrage?” I’m trying to stay calm, but this morning’s post by Scott Horton, Delivering a verdict on a corrupt prosecution has resulted in a “outrage critical mass” that I don’t think I can quell any longer.

The victim is the former Governor of Alabama. It has Karl Rove’s (photo) fingerprints all over it. As reported by Horton, “On Thursday, [June 28] United States District Judge Mark Fuller sentenced former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman to prison for a period of seven years and four months—a sentence of unprecedented harshness and severity. Ruling that appeals had no prospects for success, he also ordered the former governor to be handcuffed and led off to prison immediately in front of television cameras.”

Horton’s June 1 post, U.S. Attorney Scandal - Birmingham, Cont'd, which opens with “Something’s rotten in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Heart of Dixie Edition,” does an excellent job of pulling together the evidence that Karl Rove was “…[T]he White House operator who called the shots to line up a prosecution of Governor Siegelman….”

Horton’s June 24 post, Justice in Alabama, lays out the pattern of Karl Rove’s meddling in Alabama politics: “The Siegelman prosecution was commenced as the result of a plan hatched between senior figures in the Alabama Republican Party and Karl Rove. This connection is not coincidental, because Rove was once fired by the first President Bush and then had to rehabilitate himself. Rove did this in spades, and the place where he worked his political magic was in Alabama. He put together a campaign to engineer the Alabama GOP’s capture of the state’s judicial machinery. It worked brilliantly. And Rove has retained tight connections with the Alabama GOP ever since. Rove and the Alabama GOP leaders set out to destroy Siegelman’s political career and thus smooth the path by which the Republican Party could secure and retain political control of the Alabama statehouse…. Key to this plan was the use of the machinery of the Department of Justice for its completion – involving the U.S. attorneys offices in Birmingham and Montgomery, and the Department of Justice in Washington. Rove was in a position to make this work and he did so.”

What did Siegelman do? Horton explains the charges in his June 24 post: “The main accusation is that he appointed HealthSouth’s scandal-ridden CEO to a state oversight board, and in exchange a donation was made to a not-for-profit education foundation which was supporting Siegelman’s efforts to secure a lottery to fund the state’s education system. You might very well ask what would be corrupt about this, and you would be right to ask. This is almost exactly the sort of accusation that the federal prosecutor in Milwaukee, faced with Rove’s threat to fire him, brought against Thompson – and that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals labeled as “preposterous.” [see my April 21 post by guest blogger, Janie Sheppard].

"And indeed, it’s the sort of thing that transpires in the American political environment every single day. For instance, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared on a Donald Trump television program recently, and Trump made a payment of ten thousand dollars to help Schwarzenegger “retire his campaign debts.” Was that corrupt? Added to this is the fact that HealthSouth had no interest in anything before the oversight board in question, and its CEO had been appointed to the same board by three prior governors. This is corruption?”

If you’ll take a few minutes to read Horton’s posts of June 1, 24, and 30, you too may be outraged. If you're looking for a blander opinion about Siegelman’s conviction, read today’s New York Times editorial Questions about a governor's fall.

The Siegleman vendatta is not the first of Rove's dirty tricks. Put your feet up and read the November, 2004 Atlantic Monthly article, Karl Rove in a Corner.

Then ask yourself, “Where is the outrage?”

*I was in Detroit, attending Camp Wellstone, which I posted about here. The other speakers at the Democratic Socialists of America convention (held at the Hotel Pontchartrain where I was staying) were Rep. John Conyers, Holly Sklar, and Harold Meyerson.

(photos –Karl Rove –

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When are we gong to impeach the President and Vice President for allowing such acts contrary to the spirit and aim of the Constitution?