Rick Perry has been indicted on charges that could mean the rest of his life in prison. But even liberals are finding the indictment so frivolous that they can’t bring themselves to support it. As Colin Campbell wrote for Business Insider,
Although some Democrats are calling for Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) resignation after he was indicted by a grand jury on Friday, a number of left-leaning observers immediately panned the allegations as unimpressive.
Perry, an expected presidential candidate in 2016, is accused of “abuse of official capacity” and “coercion of [a] public servant” by publicly threatening to zero out a state prosecutor’s funding and then actually doing it. Several pundits, including former Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod, Clinton and Obama administration alum Jonathan Prince, Vox’s Matt Yglesias, and New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait, wrote on Twitter they couldn’t see what the big deal was.
Have to say Perry indictment seems nuts. Gov has constitutional power to veto. Gov uses power. Grand jury indicts bc they don’t like reason?
— jonathan prince (@jonathanmprince) August 16, 2014
Unless he was demonstrably trying to scrap the ethics unit for other than his stated reason, Perry indictment seems pretty sketchy.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) August 16, 2014
Does anyone think this Perry indictment makes sense?
— Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias) August 16, 2014
Jonathan Chait wrote a column, “The Indictment of Rick Perry is Unbelievably Ridiculous.”
They say a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, and this always seemed like hyperbole, until Friday night a Texas grand jury announced an indictment of governor Rick Perry. The “crime” for which Perry faces a sentence of 5 to 99 years in prison is vetoing funding for a state agency. The conventions of reporting — which treat the fact of an indictment as the primary news, and its merit as a secondary analytic question — make it difficult for people reading the news to grasp just how farfetched this indictment is.
The charges must be ridiculous indeed. Essentially, these liberals are campaigning for Rick Perry’s potential Presidential run in 2016. By publicly defending him they make the Liberals behind the charges look stupid and they make it even more likely that Rick Perry will become a conservative hero. In fact, it seems to me that this Grand Jury has just made Perry a much hotter presidential commodity. Now he is going to get free publicity in the news cycle being hounded by insane charges.
The theory behind the indictment is flexible enough that almost any kind of political conflict could be defined as a “misuse” of power or “coercion” of one’s opponents. To describe the indictment as “frivolous” gives it far more credence than it deserves. Perry may not be much smarter than a ham sandwich, but he is exactly as guilty as one.
If I was Rick Perry, I would be thanking God for these beyond frivolous charges.