Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blagojevich: Innocent until proven guilty?

I was watching the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC tonight (Thurs. 12/11) and she interviewed Illinois state Rep. John Fritchey, who is currently the Chair of the Illinois house judiciary committee. You can imagine what the subject of the interview was. (If you have been out of the earth's orbit for the last week, it was the shenanigans of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.) Here's Rachel's interview with Fritchey:

(If you are seeing this on FaceBook, click here to see video)

What troubles me about this interview is not only Fritchey's unseemly haste to get rid of the Governor but Rachel's lack of any skepticism about what Fritchey is saying. For example, when he says:
In Illinois we have allot of latitude in seeking to impeach a governor.... Essentially all we need to show is that he has an inability to perform the duties of his office. The way we would envision an impeachment resolution looking is that he has violated his oath of office, namely to uphold the laws of Illinois and the Constitution of Illinois and he has not been able to fulfill his duties as governor. And that he has rendered (?) official misconduct as a result of the allegations brought forth by the U.S. attorney.
It would seem to me that impeachment is one of the most serious actions that can be taken in a democracy. And until recently people were considered innocent until proven guilty. With all due respect to U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, "allegations" are not proof. I think, that no matter how inconvenient the governor's behavior may appear to be, we still have to protect our democratic values. Essentially I wish Rachel - for whom I have great admiration - had questioned Fritchey's haste to impeach.

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