If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
Vitter returned to the Senate confident that the expired statute of limitations on his crimes prevented his prosecution. In a meeting of the Senate Republican Conference, he was welcomed with raucous applause from fellow Republicans.
WE'RE NOW UP TO PRINCIPLE #5 IN Glenn Beck's increasingly leftist "9 Principles and 12 Values".
So far he's come out in favor of bipartisanship, has denied that America is Godless and Evil, supported religious pluralism, urged Conservatives to be more honest, and argued that the government shouldn't violate the authority of the family by telling people who they can't marry, pushing prayer on children in the public schools, or over-ruling a family's moral decision about abortion.
This time, he takes on the concept of justice:
If you break the law you pay the penalty.
Justice is blind and no one is above it.
Beck seems to have completely abandoned all pretense at this point.
His liberal slant in this principle is, as it was in the previous one, impossible to miss.
He's referring, of course, to all of the prominent conservatives who have escaped justice because of their positions of wealth and power, and to the ongoing and shameless support of this by the conservative power structure.
Beck is arguing that justice should be justice, that the law should be the law, and that money, fame, or power should have nothing at all to do with it.
So, for example, Rush Limbaugh shouldn't be allowed to obtain and use drugs illegally without going to jail, unless everyone is.
So, for example, Cheney should not be allowed to commit war crimes without facing charges.
So, for example, those in the Bush administration who wrote phony briefs in order to justify illegal behavior by the administration shouldn't be allowed to escape conspiracy charges.
So, for example, Rumsfeld should not be allowed to get away with authorizing illegal mistreatment of prisoners, without going to jail for it.
Beck has put his finger on a central weakness in the conservative world view: the idea that those who are conservative and powerful, or conservative and rich, or conservative and famous, are above the law.
There's a strong tradition in America of politicians on the right who take advantage of this weakness, from Nixon to Reagan to the Bushes and their administrations—a tradition which has contributed to the divisiveness which Beck has also condemned.
If he is successful, we will hear conservatives around the nation calling for the investigation of members of the Bush administration, and of the conservative media, for criminal activity.
But Beck is not merely talking about a double standard for wealthy conservatives here.
He's also talking about the ongoing class discrimination built into our legal system.
He's talking about the differences in the penalties, and in the enforcement, of drug laws, which make it much more likely that a poor person will do jail time for using illegal drugs than a wealthy person will.
He's talking about wealthy people who commit white collar crimes which ruin the lives of countless employees or investors going to country-club jails, while a poor man who uses drugs and harms no one looks forward to a prison experience that is hell on earth.
He's talking about the fact that justice in this country is heavily defined by class differences.
And he saying, along with all the other liberals in this country, that it is wrong.
Justice should be blind, and it's time that conservatives joined the fight to make it blind.
Next time, principle #6—I have a right to life,
liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there
is no guarantee of equal results.