What is the cost of the Political Storm that never came?
There's no better (or worse) example than the politicization of the Justice Department by Bush and his cronies. Bush used criminal prosecutions to further his political agenda. And, the Media Pundits could not even figure out what was going on.
The case of Don Siegelman, former Democratic Governor of Alabama, will be the subject of a 60 Minutes segments on CBS on Sunday. Opposite the Oscars, so it can be ignored, I guess.
Kagro X on Daily Kos sums up the implications: "If they can railroad the actual governor of a state into prison and have pretty much nobody really sit up and take notice, what does that say about the extent of the damage to the country? Not just the DOJ (which is a goner), but about the supposed watchdogs of the media, who've been in large part either cowed into silence, or distracted by an endless stream of shiny objects?
Seriously, this means they can do this to anybody.
But worse than that, it means that anybody who finds themselves under scrutiny by the federal government now has license to charge that they're being politically targeted. Because if this can happen as Horton describes it happening, all bets are off. It has all the ingredients of the complete and total undoing of all federal law enforcement capability for the foreseeable future."
There's a kind of strategy in play, here, for the permanent establishment of an authoritarian government. Law is made arbitrary, and the political consequences are neutralized by the "everybody does it" meme merged with conventions of journalism, which enforce partisan neutrality.