The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Texas Democrats vs. the Rule of Law

Posted on | August 16, 2014 | 44 Comments

Even a liberal like Jonathan Chait can see it:

They say a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, and this always seemed like hyperbole, until Friday night a Texas grand jury announced an indictment of governor Rick Perry. The “crime” for which Perry faces a sentence of 5 to 99 years in prison is vetoing funding for a state agency. The conventions of reporting — which treat the fact of an indictment as the primary news, and its merit as a secondary analytic question — make it difficult for people reading the news to grasp just how farfetched this indictment is.
Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg — a Democrat who oversees the state’s Public Corruption unit — was arrested for driving very, very drunk. What followed was a relatively ordinary political dispute. Perry, not unreasonably, urged Lehmberg to resign. Democrats, not unreasonably, resisted out of fear that Perry would replace her with a Republican. Perry, not unreasonably, announced and carried out a threat to veto funding for her agency until Lehmberg resigned.
I do not have a fancy law degree from Harvard or Yale or, for that matter, anywhere. I am but a humble country blogger. And yet, having read the indictment, legal training of any kind seems unnecessary to grasp its flimsiness.

You can read the whole thing. It is only logical that it is a bad thing to have a state official whose job is to investigate corruption charged with drunk driving. Yet because she is a Democrat and the governor is a Republican, Lehmberg refused to resign for strictly partisan reasons. The governor then exercised his prerogative in an effort to force Lehmberg to do the right thing — and Democrats then decided that the governor’s exercise of lawful authority was a crime.



  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    What do RSM, Ali, Aaron Walker, WJJ Hoge and Kimberlin Unmasked have in common with Rick Perry?

    Frivolous prosecutions.

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  • Bradoplata

    It shouldn’t be left out that she tried to get the sheriff involved. That’s a bigger issue than the drunk driving, imo.

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  • G Joubert

    I’m thinking this little gambit by the Dems is gonna backfire bigtime.

  • richard mcenroe

    Perry better be careful or Lehmberg might start setting bombs to distract from her own offenses.

    Both she and the prosecuting DA are facing other ethics complaints of their own, BTW.

  • Jeanette Victoria

    Liberals are now using the courts to harass and bully people these days.

  • Dianna Deeley

    There’s video of her, drunk, on many occasions. Backfire? This is more like a “work accident” in Gaza.

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  • McGehee

    She’s being sued for firing a prosecutor who refused to bury a case.

  • McGehee

    We may have to rename the Streisand Effect in Drunkberg’s honor.

  • Anon Y. Mous

    Patterico has a great piece on this. I would like to highlight one sentence:
    Conversely, I have no moral qualms about a governor using his lawful veto power over funding to seek the resignation of a D.A. who is on tape drunkenly threatening sheriff’s deputies and trying to use her influence to get out of jail.

    To me, that is even worse then that someone in her position was driving drunk. She tried to use her position to get herself off the hook. She is supposed to be policing corruption by public officials, yet she corruptly tries to evade responsibility for her own criminal actions.

  • MichaelAdams

    The piece described her as “accused.” She was convicted, and served three months, IIRC, in jail. She is still in office, and the Public Corruption office is still pursuing political prosecutions. She’s a discredit to an otherwise very nice family.

  • Zohydro

    I’ve just read that Lehmberg is also a… Wait for it, wait for it…

    A lesbian!

    Now it all makes perfect sense!

  • Zohydro


  • Finrod Felagund

    The fact that national Democrats are running away from this instead of running to it says much.

  • Wombat_socho

    In Travis County, that’s hardly surprising.

  • Finite

    What better way? This will tie up Perry’s time, and other resources while the case itself hangs over his head. hopefully this will push him to resign.

  • Zohydro

    Not so many steers then, I’d guess…

  • Finite

    Yeah, her being a lesbian is driving the prosecution. I pray your Grandchildren turn out to be queer. A bigot like you deserves nothing less.

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  • Zohydro

    Travis County… Austin—this make sense now too!

  • Jeanette Victoria

    Lesbians have more problems with alcohol addiction than those evil heteronormative women

  • K-Bob

    Way to make having “queer” grandchildren sound like something you’d wish on an enemy.


  • K-Bob

    Reminds me of all the squealing over W’s firing of Eight US Attorney’s in the DOJ.

    barack can do whatever he wants by fiat, with no questions asked, or you’re a racist.

    But woe betide any Republican who dares exercise a lawful power which ends the political career of a corrupt leftist.

    EDIT: BTW, video of Perry’s response to this indictment, at a press breifing is at Scoop’s.

    Also video of the drunken DA is at

  • McGehee

    Homophobic proglodyte.

  • Matt_SE

    This is a political attack, and needs a political response.
    Don’t worry about the formalities of legal arguments, Perry’s lawyers can worry about that; post video of the drunkard at every chance. Accuse Democrats (correctly) of shielding a corrupt incompetent.
    This needs to be fought in the public sphere.
    If fought correctly, this can pretty easily be turned into another major liability for Dems.
    P.S. I note that David Axelrod, not known for his honesty, called this lawsuit “sketchy.” Translated, that means he sees how this can easily explode on Dems.
    Let’s oblige him.

  • RS

    The Texas Dems hav obviously never heard of “The Streisand Effect.” The nuts and bolts of the indictment approaches “my eyes glaze over” territory for non lawyers, but when one reduces the whole thing to “Drunk DA In Charge of ‘Public Integrity’ threatens cops who arrest her, does time but refuses to resign. Governor who vetoes her money gets indicted” combined with the fabulous video, you have the makings of a major miscalculation on the part of the Dems. It’s a quite and image and not one the Dems are going to want to see on the tubes and in commercials for the next several years.

  • Eastwood Ravine

    I agree with you analysis of the Streisand Effect. This only makes Rick Perry look better, not worse. The Democrats are practically seceding to Perry Law & Order issues — giving him a L&W platform to run on in 2016, something Republicans haven’t done since Reagan and Nixon.

  • DeadMessenger

    Cripes, it’s almost like Perry is a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a homosexual couple.

  • DeadMessenger

    I have to say, the video is quite impressive.

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  • richard mcenroe

    Plenty of steers, not too many bulls…

  • richard mcenroe

    If my queer relations turn out to be abusive drunks who abuse the authority of their office then yeah, it’d be something I wish on an enemy.

  • 20thCenturyVole

    Bring that shit on, all day long baby! I think a special prosecutor ought to look at the case history of that unit, see who they’ve been indicting and why. Also look at the books. Yes, both sets.

  • Quartermaster

    Depends on what you mean by queer. If homosexual, it’s certainly something I would not wish for my grandkids.

  • Quartermaster

    She’s a discredit to the entire state.

  • Quartermaster

    You have such a warped imagination. 🙂

  • Quartermaster

    Not bloody likely. He’s in until January and that’s not much longer and the case will become an albatross around Lemonberg’s and the DimoKKKrap’s necks in the meantime.

  • K-Bob

    Sure, but conservatives, Christians (and many other faiths) love the sinner, just not the sin.

    The troll’s formulation exposed its contempt for both Zohydro (and by extension, people on the right, in general), and homosexuals too, all in one stupid, ball of hate.

  • Bob Belvedere

    I’m glad Governor Perry came out swinging on this travesty.

    Let us not forget, however, he is obviously running for the GOP Nomination in 2016.

    I still don’t trust the guy, but, damn, he shouldn’t have been sued for exercising his power as Governor properly.

  • Eastwood Ravine

    Totally agree with you on your feelings of Rick Perry. He clearly is following through on political advice to straddle both horses, establishment vs. tea party, of the GOP. That’s why is policies and positions often seen at odds. He is of old Texas, using the Texas two-step strategy as his political strategy to perhaps the GOP nomination in 2016.