Laughable Indictment Could Actually Help Perry in 2016
Today, Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry had to suffer the indignity of turning himself into local law enforcement on absurd charges that he abused his office.
The upshot is that this whole politically motivated affair is very likely about to end without any further dents to Perry’s public image.
In fact, it might even help him.
The water cooler version is that the Democrat who runs the state’s Public Integrity Unit got mad that Perry vetoed funding after she served jail time for drunk driving and refused to resign. Apparently, an Austin-based grand jury thought that was enough to issue two felony indictments for abuse of power.
No serious person who has actually looked at Texas law thinks this will stand up in court. The case is so bad that even liberal pundits are taking the opportunity to defend a staunchly conservative Southern Republican.
As a matter of history, this is at least the third time a sitting Republican official has been the target of a politically motivated criminal prosecution, according to John Fund. The other two – U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay – were both eventually acquitted.
That’s a track record Perry can take comfort in, especially since Texas governors enjoy virtually unlimited discretion to veto appropriations bills. Knowing this, Perry can pledge to “fight this injustice with every fiber of my being” because he knows the prosecution doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on.
When the dust settles and the national media spotlight dissolves, Perry might actually be in a better situation politically than before. Already he’s gained a lot of renewed interest as a potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate for his deft handling of the current border crisis. Add this martyr-making moment to the mix, and Perry might be ready to audition for the role of Comeback Kid.