Monday, March 21, 2005

My Kind of Cowboy

One of the worst parts of growing older is the acquiescence over the things you no longer believe you can change. At twenty, the paths stretch before you, your energy is boundless and the world is decidedly shiny. You believe with all certainty the mantras of your childhood: you can do it, all things can happen if you do your best, you can be anything you want to be if you try.

A few decades in the workplace strips optimism layers at a time. Focuses shift; it's much less you and your ideals, saving the world pales against saving for college. Three kids in college at the same time? Responsibilities ground dreams, sometimes permanently.

I can't help feeling that while I was distracted, America went to hell.

What happened to the Lone Rangers? Where are the people who are truly upright in their approach to each day? I see regular folks in daily life, people who give back the money if they're given incorrect change, or give a little at the grocery when the guy ahead of them comes up short. For every idiot who drives as if the roads I paid for with my taxes are their personal Indy, there are nice people who let me make a left during rush hour or a quick lane change when I need to. I see kindness to older people, time given in communities, or trash recycled.

Farther up the representational ladder, there's a dearth of do-gooders. I know, I know, politics stink; this is not news. I always felt that in the morass of backroom dealings and back stabbings, there were a few people who actually believed, both in doing the right thing and American principles in general. The tone of the past political year seared belief from me, salted my sensibilities, and abandoned me. It's all corrupt. Deal with it.

The thing is, I love America. I can't stop looking for her just because she's lost. If I could find some help, a little inspiration even, I'd be mighty obliged.

In this year of sin in the name of morality, I found a hero. He may not ride a white horse, but he walks the walk of principle and decency.

Ronnie Earle is my kind of cowboy.

Because the Texas Attorney General's office does not have the authority to prosecute those suspected of committing crimes in their dealings with the state, the responsibility falls on Earle and his band of prosecutors in Travis County, home of the state capital.

It is a responsibility he has embraced, prosecuting 15 high profile cases against Republican and Democratic politicians during his 27 years in office. Many have drawn sharp criticism from both parties.

...Over the years, there have been bills to defund the controversial unit and to transfer its power to the attorney general's office. But the unit has persisted and Earle has prosecuted 12 Democrats and three Republicans - most of them successfully. --
Kris Axtman, Christian Science Monitor

Demanding deeds to suit the words....what a concept. This man must just be HATED in some circles. He's political; he served in the Texas State Legislature. Yet, he's honest. There is right and there is wrong. There is within the law, and there's breaking the law. Low-down skunks, especially political ones drunk with a power elixir that leaves them feeling immune to the rules the rest of the nation abides by, need to fear the long arm of this lawman.

Yet no case has been more important, or controversial, than the one Earle is now pursuing against a political action committee tied to House majority leader Tom DeLay (R) - one of the nation's most powerful politicians.

To Earle partisans, it's an example of his fearlessness in pursuing political malfeasance, a trait they say makes him the state's, and perhaps the country's, top ethics cop. But detractors see the investigation as a witch hunt, another case of the silver-thatched prosecutor acting out of political motivation and for personal gain.

Mr. DeLay calls the Democratic Earle "vindictive and partisan." So far, three of DeLay's associates have been indicted on charges of illegally funneling hundreds of thousands of corporate dollars to state GOP candidates in 2002. The Republican sweep that year fueled redistricting efforts in Texas that deepened Congressional control in 2004. Preparing for the possibility that DeLay might be charged, Republicans in Congress recently voted to change their rule requiring an indicted leader to relinquish his post.

For his part, Earle says the attacks are no different from those by the 15 other politicians he's prosecuted in almost three decades as Travis County DA. All have accused him of being politically motivated. "What else are they going to say?" he asks. --
Kris Axtman, Christian Science Monitor

I know what I'm going to say. Ronnie Earle is restoring my faith in the honest political animal. It's not all corrupt; it's not all crap. It's not so complicated that the average American disengages from the process. (They CAN, but they don't have too.) Morality is part of the American political landscape. It's just not the part we're being sold on. Morality is not paying lip service to God and then seeing how many deadly sins you can commit before breakfast. Morality is in the day to day decision making, morality is in the trenches. Morality is doing the right thing when it's difficult, scary, or puts one at risk.

Ronnie Earle is carefully, methodically following the truth. He is exposing the underbelly of the moral mandate and in the process, giving this American a much needed renewal.

The paths stretch before me again, my energy is recharging and the world has a glint of shine.

Yeeeeeee Haaaaaaa!


At March 22, 2005 7:45 PM, Blogger Pliny said...

You can have God back when you Dems give up the culture of death that you so willingly embrace.

At March 23, 2005 1:17 AM, Blogger Tom Harper said...

Excellent post. We sure need more people like Ronnie Earle. It's a sad commentary that a principled person stands out in such contrast to the sleazebags who seem to be the norm.

It's funny (but not ha ha) that DeLay tries to dismiss his indictments because the prosecutor is a Democrat.

At March 23, 2005 8:34 AM, Blogger frstlymil said...

Wow. Dennis K - we can have God BACK!?!?!? Gee!!! Ah, yes, the Devil is currently holding him hostage via his minions in the present administration passing themselves off as being pious in the greatest con job of our history. My bad, I forgot. If you can read, Dennis, you might want to re-read your bible and judge for yourself what has been going on "in God's name." You also might want to read the traditional policies of the Republican party before they grew a second evil head and turned into what they are now.

Okay, JET regarding your post - THANK you for this - it does give me hope to know that there is at least one unafraid to stand on conviction no matter how unpopular. Those are the ones we need in office. I WOULD like to see a little representation of decency - but see damn little of it. I also live in L.A. where very few people would give back extra change, let someone merge into their lane, refrain from honking at a senior citizen who is in the cross-walk, etc...we call it "L.A. Rude." It's nice to know there is someone somewhere who is actually interested in doing the right thing.

At March 23, 2005 3:54 PM, Blogger ThomasMcCay said...

I've always tended to believe that the only people really morally qualified for the jobs filled by eager politicians, are people who don't want the job. People who crave power should never have it. They can't handle it.

There are decent, honest, real people around, but in politics, they are a very, very slim minority.

Culture of death? I Are rolling on the floor with laughter.

Who is responsible for the deaths of over 1,500 American soldiers, the murder of unknown numbers of Iraqi's, currently estimated at 150,000, and twenty thousand wounded or injured (military accidents)? Who is booting vets with debilitating wounds, on to the street, while hacking the budget from an already grossly stressed VA?

Culture of death? Look in the mirror, see the careless idiot looking back. There is your culture of death.

Get God back? Who needs your Satan in a Jesus mask?

At March 23, 2005 7:22 PM, Blogger Cranky Liberal said...

Hey Dennis, if God is soley the province of the Republican party, no wonder the #2 religion in the world is "Athesim\No Religion" - wow who would want a lying, cheating, vengeful god who stopped at nothing to screw over the common man just to add a few more gold bricks in heaven. Sounds kid of like the devil to me.

Anyhow Jet - greta post. Earle is a good man. And math lesson here - if Earle has prosecuted 15 politicains and 12 are Dems isn't that 80%? So how the hell can Delay say its partisan? Smoke, mirrors and bullsh** - in other words welcome to the Republican Party.

At April 16, 2005 8:05 PM, Blogger RedBeardedMead said...

thank you for the comment on my blog... how did you link into it? your writing style is good, i like.


justin, the redbearded one...


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