Mean, True, or Both?

 Posted on March 22, 2008 in Uncategorized

Anonymous blogger AHCL writes a critique of my mood:

He's darker. More angry. More morose.....Where he starts getting mean is in the comments.

  1. he argues that Kelly Siegler "bought" Steven Hotze's support.

  2. he states he thinks its "fair" for Kelly to pay for Chuck's sins (obviously not thinking that "mere presence" applies when it comes to politics).

  3. he notes that posters on his website are very savvy, except for those that come to him from this website, citing them as being "a bit dim". (Now, granted, he and Anon C got into a nasty little war of words during the comments, so I can understand him being angry about that).

  4. and he insinuates that the prosecutors support Kelly solely based on fear of losing their jobs.

Sometimes it's hard not to bruise people's feelings, especially when we're talking about something of desperate importance to them. I do try not to be mean, though.

The Hotze Endorsement

I wrote:

I hated to see Kelly buying Hotze's support. That shifted me away from her a bit - ideally, Harris County elections will not be decided by Dr. Hotze's bought endorsement anymore. I hope that we find in November that that's a thing of the past.

Steven Hotze is widely reputed to operate this way: he solicits substantial contributions to his PACs, and candidates who don't make the contributions don't get his endorsement (which can be tremendously valuable in a low-turnout election). AHCL is familiar with how it works too; she isn't claiming that Kelly didn't buy Hotze's support, but just that it is mean that I should argue that she did - as though there's nothing wrong with buying an endorsement because everybody does it. But I know a couple of judicial candidates who refused to be shaken down, and didn't get Hotze's support; one of them is a judge now despite.

Hotze was investigated by the Rosenthal DA's Office for DWI. In an extraordinary procedure, the Office used a grand jury to investigate after Hotze was arrested for DWI, rather than filing charges and letting matters sort themselves out in the trial court. I wouldn't mind if this procedure were followed with all of my clients accused of DWI; we'd get two bites at the apple - a chance to get rid of the case in grand jury and then, failing that, the usual chance of winning in the trial court.

Hotze is also a leader in the Christian Reconstructionist movement.

Reconstructionism is a theology that arose out of conservative Presbyterianism (Reformed and Orthodox), which proposes that contemporary application of the laws of Old Testament Israel, or "Biblical Law," is the basis for reconstructing society toward the Kingdom of God on earth.Reconstructionism argues that the Bible is to be the governing text for all areas of lifeā€“such as government, education, law, and the arts, not merely "social" or "moral" issues like pornography, homosexuality, and abortion. Reconstructionists have formulated a "Biblical world view" and "Biblical principles" by which to examine contemporary matters. Reconstructionist theologian David Chilton succinctly describes this view: "The Christian goal for the world is the universal development of Biblical theocratic republics, in which every area of life is redeemed and placed under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the rule of God's law."More broadly, Reconstructionists believe that there are three main areas of governance: family government, church government, and civil government. Under God's covenant, the nuclear family is the basic unit. The husband is the head of the family, and wife and children are "in submission" to him. In turn, the husband "submits" to Jesus and to God's laws as detailed in the Old Testament. The church has its own ecclesiastical structure and governance. Civil government exists to implement God's laws. All three institutions are under Biblical Law, the implementation of which is called "theonomy."

So if Kelly didn't buy Hotze's endorsement, then she is the choice of a man who thinks that America should be a Christian theocracy in which women submit to men and adulteresses are stoned. As well as deeply ironic, that is more worrisome (especially during this Blog Against Theocracy weekend) than if the endorsement had been cynically traded for cash.

The Fairness of Kelly's Ineluctable Link to Chuck Rosenthal

I wrote, "I think it's fair for Kelly to pay as a candidate for the sins that she would like the voters to attribute only to Chuck." Like Kelly, AHCL calls the problems with the DA's Office "Chuck's sins." I think it's fair to call them "the Office's sins" and to hold the Office's management politically responsible for them.

No, "mere presence" does not apply when it comes to politics. Even if it did, Kelly wasn't "merely present." Kelly was management. Either she was not aware of any of the problems with the office, or she was aware and didn't do anything. Neither reflects well on her as a potential DA. The Harris County DA needs to be like Elliot Ness. Untouchable.

The Dimness of AHCL's Commenters

I wrote: "my readers are generally fairly savvy (except for those coming over here from AHCL's blog; some of them seem a bit dim)."

I can see AHCL's point in calling that, at least, mean. It violates Thumper's mother's rule, and probably didn't need saying. I apologize to those of AHCL's readers who think that they are the ones who seem a bit dim.

Why Prosecutors Support Kelly

I wrote, "Every prosecutor (even the Democratic one) supports Kelly, of course; I probably would too if I thought my job might depend on it."

That is a statement of the obvious: Kelly's heavy prosecutorial support does not reflect on Kelly's suitability for the job. The prosecutors - especially the chiefs - have their jobs at stake here; they would be supporting whatever candidate they thought would minimize their chances of seeking employment come January.

This raises an interesting issue: unstated bias. AHCL has never come out and said whether she is a defense lawyer or a prosecutor. I think I can read the answer to that question clearly between her lines, but she shouldn't be pretending that she might be one thing when she is in fact another. Not, at least, if what she is gives her a reason to wish to see Kelly elected beyond Kelly's qualification for the office.

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