BRING IN THE CLOWNS (GREEDY, SELFISH, IGNORANT, AND CLUELESS POLITICIANS) HOW IT HAPPENED
Springtime—Roundup, Time for Making Steers
Police and Press Castrate Lawyer-Politicians
Dennis L. Blewitt, Esq
I have been a criminal defense lawyer for over 4 decades and am proud of that fact. I have battled my whole career to defend the Constitution and the rights of the citizenry. I am also a teacher and proud of that fact. What I am not proud of is the way in which some lawyers abandon principles and integrity to gain public office, or have absolute no courage to stand up for what’s right, going along with the herd, rather than leading it and still claiming to be a lawyer.
When I grew up, we had cattle. We had no bulls, just steers. Steers were docile and intended for slaughter. Bulls were for breeding and maintaining the species and were anything but docile. Every spring, cattle were rounded up and males were made steers by a simple procedure called castration. When I was young, I played with the steers. They were gentle and some followed me like a puppy. My father would admonish me not to play with the food, but I generally ignored him. However, I didn’t ignore his warnings about getting into a bull pen. That was dangerous, because bulls could not be led around like puppies and led to the slaughter.
I conjured up these images after reading about the utter lack of principles in the US Senate when voting down lawyer Debo Adegbile, the nominee for the appointment of the head of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. The attorney worked on a case involving activist Abu-Jamal, a long time prisoner who recently moved from death row. Jamal was convicted of shooting and killing a police officer in Philadelphia. The case was controversial and an example of either police and prosecutorial incompetence or worse. Amnesty International, an organization dedicated to maintain fairness in judicial proceedings said the following,
Mumia Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death for the murder of a police officer in 1982 after a trial that failed to meet international standards. In this report Amnesty International conducts a full analysis of the trial of Mumia Abu-Jamal including the background and atmosphere prevailing in the city of Philadelphia in 1982 and the possible political influences that may have prevented him from receiving an impartial and fair hearing.
However, the actors don’t seem to care. Jamal became a symbol. The police took any challenge as a direct affront to their conspiratorial brotherhood. The shameless opposition to the nomination put the widow of the murdered cop on display exhibiting ignorant prejudice to the max. Police claimed that to vote for the attorney who was involved in the case was bad. It was a slap in the face to all the jack-booted thugs in uniform. The press didn’t mention that the case of Abu-Jamal came after the repression of ex Philadelphia police commissioner turned mayor, Frank Rizzo.
Ironically, the candidate wasn’t the trial lawyer in the case. He just worked on it. But no matter. He didn’t participate in the lynching of the Black Panther reporter. Therefore, he is undeserving of any appointment to the “Justice Department.” Does that sound crazy to anyone other than me? Apparently not. I haven’t seen outrage from the citizenry, who also seems to be cowed by the cops. Maybe, to be head of the Civil Rights Division, a lawyer has to be anti-civil-rights like Jerris Leonard, administrator of the Law Enforcement Assistance Agency, famed for finding (some say planting) evidence and took a dive in the Grand Jury investigation of District Attorney of Chicago Hanrahan and the Black Panthers so that the FBI could keep Cointel Pro shenanigans a secret.
What infuriates me is that most of these Senators were trained as lawyers, steeped in the traditions of our Anglo-American court system. Law trained members are almost 60% of the body. One Senator claimed that Adegbile’s nomination was a “thumb in the eye of our law enforcement officers” (Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) Well, what about the insult to those of us who work hard for the Constitution and human rights, actively resisting the police state. We remember the antics of the Philadelphia police under mayor Rizzo. We all have seen u-tube examples of police running roughshod over the citizens. The only group standing in the way of the police state is lawyers. And the Senate thinks they can slap us in the face without any consequences. They believe that they have been so successful selling fear that the public hates lawyers and still worships corrupt cops. Bullshit!!
Lawyers have a noble tradition of helping the poor, downtrodden and oppressed. Some of our predecessors held an English king at sword point in 1215, 800 years ago, and had him sign a civil rights guaranteeing, among other things, that the king would appoint judges “learned in the law” Clause 45 said that the King should only appoint as “justices, constables, sheriffs, or bailiffs” those who knew the law and would keep it well. So what was so special about someone trained in the law 800years ago? Why is that relevant now? Tradition!
Lawyers have taken oaths since Charlemagne. There were serious penalties for violating the oaths, including ex-communication. The custom came to the United States from England before the revolution. Lawyers owed an obligation to the law and to their clients. They don’t owe any obligation to whiney cops, especially those sanctioned by international watchdog organizations. It is not that the Senators are ignorant. They just don’t feel that the oaths taken mean anything, especially to them. Oaths are a means to power and can be discarded when power is attained. At least, that is what they appear to believe.
Now I can hear the cattle lowing, ignorant of the slaughter that awaits them. Had they kept the anatomical part that made them a steer, they probably would not be in a herd on the way to the market. They would be free on the range, not worrying about the next meal (or election). The real tragedy is that these congressional steers are too damned stupid to tell that they are cowards. They pay lip service to the Constitution. What a laugh. The only lip service they know is performed on the perturbing part above the subject matter of castration attached to the rich and powerful that promise them they won’t soil them. Well, I got to figure that the above arrangement is the only way they can get sperm since they are incapable of producing any.
Curiously, I noticed a change public attitude during the Reagan years. Until then, I was never challenged as a defense attorney. Most people knew that defense attorneys were an integral part of the American way of government. We were admired for taking unpopular stands against the powerful. We stood up for the little guy and we were respected. We worked with police and prosecutors and were not considered an enemy. That is, until the non-practicing lawyers of the Nixon Administration. These people had law degrees, but weren’t practicing lawyers. Lawyer jokes ran rampant and stereotyping was the rule of the day.
Ignorance prevailed and very few cared about the Constitution or other theoretical niceties. The public was fearful and the power structure nurtured that fear to feeding frenzy. There was a push toward law and order. The government sold protection just like the mafia. The powerful lied, cheated and swindled, robbing the people of their money, future and pride. The wolves gathered and the citizens were the prey. Scapegoating was the norm. Zero tolerance became the mantra of the fearful and ignorant. Zero tolerance precludes any debate and allows those with power to exercise it without restraint. The checks and balances were gone. Business minds and management by objective took over. If you weren’t with them, you were against them. The social and political world became dichotomized, with the rich setting the narrative. They controlled the propaganda machine and was able to terrorize the people into giving up; rights for protection.
Those who knew better were curiously absent. They were dead, exhausted or indifferent. A machine of corruption was constructed where science, logic, justice and fairness were all abolished. The press said that the people wanted protection and sold the people on that idea. The rulers manufactured enemies and threats to keep the people afraid. The powerful then took away any tools of resistance by wrecking the economy and limiting discretionary income. The average citizen was nervous and the middle class was decimated. This was done by the gutless politicians and officials who hadn’t the courage or intelligence to resist.
When I go to Severance Colorado to an oyster fry, I will think of all the people in Washington whose testicles wouldn’t even make a decent meal. The rich and powerful have castrated any who might be a threat and the public has been dumb-downed to not understand. They are concerned about non-issues involving different life-styles rather than concerned about whether or not we will even have a life. They would rather judge than think.
I lament the profession of which I used to be a proud member. I can no longer be proud. I can no longer believe that our Country is the best or its people the finest. I have watched something noble and admirable destroyed by bad public relations and divisiveness. I believe that if we lawyers, as a group, were to speak out, there would be some change. But, we can’t blame congress for everything. Lawyers are trained to lead and to give advice.
We have abdicated that role to the uneducated police and simple minded reporter who will say anything to sell copy. We can no longer stand up for our clients, how can we stand for anything else. We should collectively file grievances against the Senators who were trained as lawyers and took an oath to support the constitution and the law. It is about time that we made officials accountable and responsible to the citizenry, not the power elite and their minions. We should shun those that ignore the cannons of their profession for the sake of largess. We should embarrass and humiliate those in Government who are too embarrassed to do right. These people all deserve to be made into food and fed to the people upon whom they prey. I suggest that the citizens call the conduct of their law licensed Senators to the local bar qualifications authority. Let the Senators know that we want real civil rights in the Justice Department, not the police version the same. Do something. Show outrage. Show you care.
As I eat in Severance, I hope you ingest and like this food for thought.
- Posted in: 2d Amendment