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January 3, 2018

MARK PULLIAM: Anatomy of a Witch Hunt: The Politically Motivated Prosecution of Texas AG Ken Paxton. “In the annals of ‘lawfare’ — the weaponized use of the legal system to punish a political enemy — one must distinguish between a random ‘drive-by’ motivated by spite or revenge, versus carefully orchestrated schemes calculated to achieve regime change: removal of an elected official by defeated rivals. Both types of lawfare constitute a serious abuse of the legal system, but the latter variety — exemplified by Wisconsin’s notorious ‘John Doe’ investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign and the baseless prosecution of Texas Gov. Rick Perry for carrying through on his threat to veto a bill — amounts to an attempted coup d’état, representing a dire threat to representative democracy. In Texas, Attorney General Ken Paxton currently faces such a politically motivated gauntlet, with the obvious goal of removing him from the post to which he was elected in 2014 (or, lacking that, damaging his prospects for higher office).”

Why shouldn’t Democrats do this, since it often works and can swing a seat (see, e.g., the disgraceful Ted Stevens prosecution) and there are few if any consequences. And it’s not as if the GOP returns the favor.