Some Questions about the Blagojevich Indictment

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As some of you know, I tend to be a bit skeptical when federal prosecutors file criminal charges. Either the feds are involved in activity that is not constitutional or the charges themselves are what Candice Jackson and I have called “derivative crimes,” in which the officials “crimes” for which someone is charged really are works of fiction and are “derived” from other alleged “bad acts” that do not have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

In the Blagojevich case, I have read a number of news accounts, but I have not seen any evidence that he actually was formally planning a specific act of “selling” the seat. (I am willing to be corrected here, but am just expressing my own thoughts.) Yes, he seemed to be “talking big,” but it is one thing to say one wants to do something and then actually formally plan to do it.What I have not seen are any formal plans in which real-live payouts were discussed or real jobs were offered for a specific quid-pro-quo. Instead, it is stuff like his wanting his wife to get a good job, or he needed money, etc. The guy comes off as a real jerk, but since he is a governor of Illinois, we already knew he was a jerk.

This leads to another point that I think needs discussion. Politicians like to see themselves as being the equal of successful business executives, but they generally strike me as people who don’t have the ability to make it outside of government. They are mediocre people who might be cunning or ruthless, but in the business world, one must have real foresight into the market, and from what I can tell, most politicians don’t have that ability.

They are more like the playground bullies who extort money and favors from other kids, but who generally are pathetic people.

4:28 pm on December 10, 2008