Thursday, January 24, 2008

Your Clients Stink Worse Than Mine, Nyaah Nyaah Nyaah

The ugly moments of the Democrats' debate in Myrtle Beach were very ugly indeed, with Senators Clinton and Obama overtly attacking each other.

One detail of their squabble has not aroused much comment, so I will address it. It sticks in my craw because for me, the most important thing aside from specific policy objectives, is electing a President who "gets it." The next President must understand and respect the moral premises behind this republic. We need a President who will be ruled by the Constitution, and regards the office as something much much larger than the occupant - a sacred trust. The next President must like and respect Americans, and want to give them their due. Justice, liberty, and opportunity.

It struck me when Clinton and Obama, both of them lawyers, stooped to embarrassing one another by parading their former clients around.

Oh yeah? Hillary Clinton used to represent - Wal-Mart! (GASP!)

Oh yeah?? Well, Barack Obama once represented - a slumlord!! (HORROR!)

That's it? They provided legal representation to people who may or may not have been guilty of something? That isn't anything to be ashamed of. In the United States of America, everybody deserves legal representation.

Sure, the fact that Hillary Clinton also sat on Wal-Mart's board raises questions. But the fact that she was a working attorney providing legal advice to big corporations? Not a liability. Big corporations deserve legal representation.

And yes, there have been some persistent questions about Obama's ties to Mr. Tony Rezko. Obama worked for a law firm that claimed Rezko's company as a client; Rezko later helped the Obamas buy a house, and threw a huge fundraiser for Obama's Senate campaign. Obama got a little too close to a skeezy character here. But Clinton didn't go after that part of the relationship specifically. She went after him for representing the guy in court. Obama never did represent him in a court, but if he had there is no shame in it.

As lawyers and candidates for President, do Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama believe that everyone is entitled to legal counsel? Do they feel that this principle is degraded when they name each other's clients to shame them in an election campaign?

It was, for both of them, a supremely unclassy performance that deepens my concerns about both of them, and increases my despair over the 2008 general election.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

I seem to remember there being a third person at that debate. I might be wrong. It might have just been some random guy with a really good seat.