Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Impeachment Trial for Judge Porteous - Painful Testimoney on Tues. 9/14/2010

As of the 2nd day of this trial, the most painful (difficult to watch) witness examinations were those of the bail bondsmen, esp. those by Rep. Hank Johnson of Jeffrey Duhon & Aubrey Wallace. The questions, as have been many by all of the attorneys on both sides, were often needlessly repetitive* - but neither Representative Johnson nor the witnesses (esp. Duhon)were particularly effective speakers - to put it mildly. Indeed, the personal discomfort of these witnesses was so obvious, I felt almost as if I were watching adults abusing puppies. And, yes, this is a question of class. Most of the people who testify in Congress are both rich and powerful or, if ordinary citizens, are people who have been selected for what might be called their "acceptability". I was saddened by the obvious lack of education of these (mainly) men - but, in spite of their illegal acts, the effort they put into their work differed only in quality & remuneration from that of many of the CEOs who we see daily.

I've seen Johnson in a number of House hearings and Floor speeches and his performance today pretty much confirmed my impression of him: a man either of middling intellect or a remarkable, for a politician, inability to express himself fluently.

*a majority of the Senators on the panel are/have been lawyers &/or prosecutors so the endless repetition of the instances of influence peddling so far alleged (free meals, trips to Las Vegas, hunting & fishing trips, etc.) is bizarre to watch esp. since the Defense doesn't deny that these actions occurred but only seems to be questioning whether or not such actions were customary at the time they occurred (almost all, it appears, happened before Porteous became a Federal Judge and a lot go back 15-25 years).

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