Before the United States was ever born, one principle was clear to John Adams, when as a lawyer, he defended British soldiers in the wake of the Boston Massacre (and I’m reminded in comments — ironically, it’s the 240th Anniversary of that event):
“The part I took in defense of captain Preston and the soldiers, procured me anxiety, and obloquy enough. It was, however, one of the most gallant, generous, manly and disinterested actions of my whole life, and one of the best pieces of service I ever rendered my country.”
And from Adams, to Clarence Darrow, to the Scottsboro Boys to Stephen Jones defense of Timothy McVeigh right through to the latter’s execution this has been a time-honored principle of an idyllic America, whether conservative like Adams and Jones, or liberal like Darrow.
But admiration for an Atticus Finch is no match for the visceral stupidity of Wolf Blitzer and the thuggish politics of a Liz Cheney. No, for them, lawyers following the highest principles of the calling are just another bunch of terrorist enablers.
The daily right-wing slant of FoxNews and it’s hourly diatribes are, of course, bad enough, and the determination of every news medium to allow right-wing bullshit to be taken seriously rather than laughed at is depressing. But CNN’s Situation Room had all the intellectual acumen of ‘The Situation’ himself yesterday. It’s one thing for Blitzer to be bland and dumb — because he is — it’s another thing to add kerosene to the fires of undermining the best things about our system of government.