A comment on the Perry indictment

John has referred to the indictment of Governor Perry as a Democratic dirty trick. Paul has referred to it as lawfare. I have referred to it as an egregious farce. Governor Perry himself has characterized it as a “farce of a prosecution.” I think these words accurately characterize the legal substance of the indictment. Yet Austin attorney Mary Lou Serafine writes from Travis County, where the indictment was handed up, with a comment in the nature of an objection:

Power Line Friends:

As one of your long-time readers and a long-time conservative in Travis County, I disagree with your commentary only to the extent that it understates the gravity of the Perry indictment to characterize it as a “farce,” “dirty trick,” or “bad joke.” To the contrary, the people of Travis County, and its DA and Grand Jury, are profoundly serious. They are largely not politically or strategically motivated in the ordinary sense. They are philosophically and morally motivated, intent on destroying by any means necessary what they
conclude is wrong thinking by bad people.

And the Perry indictment is not merely the Democrats’ attempt to harm a high-profile Republican. It has historical roots, too, in liberal Republicanism, which is why Lehmberg’s “Public Integrity Unit,” despite the fact that it prosecutes state-wide, has remained under the control of all-blue Travis County voters.

Far from being a farce, the indictment of widely-supported, duly elected officials like a sitting governor — and before Perry, our Tom Delay and Kay Bailey Hutchison — is among the darkest corruptions we are likely to see in our lifetimes.

We shouldn’t assume justice will be done after the bad joke is over. Tom Delay was innocent of “money laundering,” but he was jury-tried, convicted, and sentenced for it. Only after an extraordinary delay was the conviction reversed on appeal, but not unanimously (the Democrat dissenting), and, I believe, it’s not yet completely closed.

Mary Louise Serafine
Attorney at Law
Licensed in Texas, California, New York, and the District of Columbia
Austin, Texas

Our reader’s linguistic critique may or may not be well taken, but the larger point here is inarguably true and important and worthy of repetition, and I trust we will return to it as developments warrant. Thanks to Ms. Serafine for her message and her permission to attribute it to her by name.