As an attorney I always remind people that it is a very good thing the criminal justice system presumes us not guilty, until the state makes its case against us beyond a reasonable doubt. If you're ever charged with a crime, you'll be glad about that, if nothing else.
However I can also say that it takes a pretty substantial amount of evidence against someone to persuade authorities that they are likely to convict someone of a crime. Which means that if former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is not guilty now, some very smart people have decided that he sure will be, after a trial.
So while no crime has been proven - yet - it is instructive to note that the ex-Governor appears to have done enough to attract the unpleasantness of charges. And so it is useflu to remember, just who this guy is (or was):
- the governor who instigated some pretty vile incursions into the lives, privacy and rights of women in Virginia who might decide to exercise their constitutional right to have an abortion
- proponent of off shore drilling (that's the best thing you can say about him)
- fervent opponent of human rights for gay people
-- fervent proponent of human rights FOR guns
- serious contender for the 2012 Veep spot with Mitt Romney. A moot point, as it turns out, or we'd be in Spiro Agnew territory now.
Let us hope that the Democrats and friends find a way to remind people of the deep sincerity of Mr. McDonnell's moralizing, paternalistic and essentially vicious politics, cloaked as they were, in a big grin.
Mr. McDonnell famously offered these words: "man's basic nature is inclined towards evil, and when the exercise of liberty takes the shape of pornography, drug abuse, or homosexuality, the government must restrain, punish, and deter."
The gentleman carefully did not apply those rules to graft (alleged). I hope the ex-Governor is prepared to say hello to some restraint, punishment and deterrence.