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Stigma

There's a lot of fuss this weekend over news that a close friend and supporter of Fred Thompson's, one Philip Martin, has a criminal record. More specifically, he was convicted of selling 11 pounds of pot 28 years ago. And in 1983, he violated his parole and got more time added to his probation.

Since then, he's apparently lived a clean life. He literally "turned his life around" and is now a very successful businessman, been friends with Thompson for over a decade, is a key advisor, and often flies Thompson around the country on his private jet.

This is being used to go after Thompson -- Mr. "Law And Order" palling around with a convicted drug dealer.

Personally, I don't see the big problem. The guy did the crime, got caught, served his sentence (eventually), and went back on the straight and narrow. Since then, he's not only stayed out of trouble, but become very successful.

He ought to be a poster child for the way the system is supposed to work. It looks like he'd rather put it all behind him, though, and that's OK with me. Thompson should just say "he did it, he paid for it, it's in the past" and tell anyone who disagrees to go screw.

On the other hand, this could be a very useful moment. If Thompson's opponents want to use Martin's past against him, then it's fair game to apply the very same standards to their campaigns. Just looking at the roster of the Democrats' leading candidate, we can demand that the Clinton campaign divest itself of Sandy Berger (who STILL hasn't completed the terms of his plea bargain and submitted to a polygraph test by the Justice Department to explain just what the HELL he was trying to do when he pillaged the National Archives) and Bill Clinton (surrendered his law license for lying under oath). And I'm sure that there are plenty of others with similarly spotty records that ought to be purged.

Then let's move on to Obama. I don't have any particular names, but the guy came out of the Chicago political machine. There HAVE to be some interesting skeletons rattling around in there.

You wanna play this game, folks? Them's the table stakes. Put up or shut up.


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Comments (28)

Except scrutiny applied to ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Except scrutiny applied to Democrats is 'swiftboating' while scrutiny applied to Republicans is prudent. Get with the program Jay.

The left will pound this in... (Below threshold)
Jolene Author Profile Page:

The left will pound this into mince meat, as Shillary will continue her "today" dealings with dish washers and fugitives.

What this really boils down... (Below threshold)
Mike:

What this really boils down to is, "Hey, Norman Hsu isn't so bad ...look, Fred Thompson is pals with a drug dealer!"

With respect to "He ought to be a poster child for the way the system is supposed to work," you're right, Jay. Isn't it liberals who are always complaining that "the system" keeps former criminals trapped by stigmatizing them and denying them basic rights like the right to vote?

How curious, then, that liberals have no problem destroying and stigmatizing people with a criminal (or shady) past -- Matt Sanchez, anyone? -- when it might help advace their agenda.

We have seen "the system," and you, left-wing America, are it.

Since its news to Fred, the... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Since its news to Fred, the best thing would be for this gentleman to resign. Whether thats the right thing to do morally, idk. Its the right thing to do for the campaign. It would actually turn the criticism upsidedown and make Hillary look worse.

Obama's past drug use = non... (Below threshold)
Dirk:

Obama's past drug use = non-story

Some guy who knows Fred Thompson's past drug use = Somehow very very important

Well said!... (Below threshold)
Keith Author Profile Page:

Well said!

No reason for him to resign... (Below threshold)
epador:

No reason for him to resign.
Great reason to schedule lots of media time and make it part of the campaign.

Fred Thompson....... (Below threshold)
Civil behavior:

Fred Thompson.....an empty suit.

11 pounds of marijuana 28 years ago, Bernard Kerik, Ghouliani's protege. Not to overlook Mitty's sons who are too special to serve in the war you folks want to spread worldwide. Free market, business is good.


These are all just examples of petty white collar crime and malfeasance Who cares about drug dealers, illegals or tax evasion. This is just business as usual for the rich and powerful.

Nothing here.

You know what? Since libtar... (Below threshold)
Dirk:

You know what? Since libtards are presently excusing totalitarian anti-semites, or at the very least, saying they aren't as bad as Republicans, I can honestly say, "Yes I do not care so much about drug use in the 1970's".

Oh look some liberal gets r... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Oh look some liberal gets run in for having dope in his posetion 20 years ago and liberals pull a hissy fit just like they always do MHY DONT THEY GET A LIFE

Oh look some liber... (Below threshold)
Oh look some liberal gets run in for having dope in his posetion 20 years ago and liberals pull a hissy fit just like they always do MHY DONT THEY GET A LIFE

Hi Spurwing, nice to read one of your posts before it gets 'devoweled'.

By the way, we all miss you over at ace's blog.

I heard Philip Martin was a... (Below threshold)
KB:

I heard Philip Martin was a Democrat 28 years ago. Seems to me he wised up, not only in his actions but his beliefs too. Sadly, there are those who never wise up.

Great post!As a former cop... (Below threshold)

Great post!As a former cop's wife I didn't see the viewpoint you posted. I was just thinking that the quantity was huge...dealer huge. But you are right and that is why I like to stop by here.

Funny thought though...the Left does not want success...they want repeat offenders, and programs and therapy and probation officers and halfway houses and court appointed counselors and of course in jail programs and legalized drugs and taxing alcohol cigarettes and junk food.

No they can not have success because then maybe the programs and follow up would not be necessary.

A criminal past. Fire him a... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

A criminal past. Fire him and challenge the dhimmi's to do the same. That would take Shrillary and Osama Abama out of the race immediately since they will have to fire themselves. Shrillary is a known criminal since she 'got' out of college, and Obama has associated with the Chicago mob for years. It's a crime for Kucinich/Paul to waste oxygen, or should be. The field of contenders will be down to a lone survivor, whoever that may be. Bush for a third term, maybe? Actually it's a joke. The dhimmi's are playing 'do as I say', not, 'do as I do'. Play along with them.

Fred Thompson must be a goo... (Below threshold)
stan25 Author Profile Page:

Fred Thompson must be a good man to be in the office. I have seen when the candidates opponents are all ganging up on him, they are scared. Thus is the case of Fred Thompson. He has them all shaking in their boots, including the chief witch. Even the drive bys are afraid of Thompson and they will do anything to bring him down. Does the shades of Gary Hart ring here.

As for the guy being an ex con, so what? The Clintoons are guilty of capital murder several times over, but no one is shining the spotlight on them. Most of Shillary s staff are un-indicted criminals anyway.

This reminds me of how a hu... (Below threshold)
Jo:

This reminds me of how a huge number of Clintons white house staffers couldn't even get security clearance because of their drug use. Lovely. Oh yes, and the memos to remind the women staffers to wear underwear.

Oh yes, please let's go back to that kind of White House again, shall we?

Wow, sale of 11 pounds of m... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Wow, sale of 11 pounds of marijuana, probation violations including felony bookmaking, cocaine trafficking and conspiracy, and the guy never did any jail time?! If I'm ever in a jam I want his lawyer's number.

You seem to be emphasizing ... (Below threshold)
Rance:

You seem to be emphasizing the pot conviction and conveniently glossing over the parole violation which was for "multiple counts of felony bookmaking, cocaine trafficking and conspiracy".

What bothers me is that he violated his parole with cocaine trafficking conviction and still spent 0 time behind bars. I see it not as a question of rehabilitation, but of equal justice for the rich and not rich. He must have a really good lawyer.

I bet he wouldn't have been... (Below threshold)
epador:

I bet he wouldn't have been "rehabilitated" if he went to jail. Not that I'm condoning lack of jail time, just an observation.

And *you* seem to be glossi... (Below threshold)
JJ75:

And *you* seem to be glossing over the fact that the man completed his sentence (such as it was) and hasn't had been clean since 1983... that's almost 25 years now. This skeleton in the closet has just about turned to dust.

Let's all remember the comp... (Below threshold)
Rance:

Let's all remember the compassion shown here for someone convicted of multiple felonies the next time we hear about someone going away for life on a three-strikes-your-out for a minor shoplifting beef. In the right state, Mr. Martin is 1 slip away from being a lifer.

Rehabilitated or having a rehabilitated image? If he's been straight for 25 years, I would just as soon not pay for him to be locked up. I would also rather not be paying for locking up a lot of people who have similar pot busts who couldn't get such a nice deal from a judge.

You wanna play this game... (Below threshold)
Brian:

You wanna play this game, folks? Them's the table stakes. Put up or shut up.

Jay, were you saying that back when the discussion was how Clinton's "not inhaling" during college made him a pothead, but Bush's cocaine use at 40 was not an issue?

Actually, Brian, I was one ... (Below threshold)

Actually, Brian, I was one of the few who said that I found his "didn't inhale" plausible, when he tied it in to asthma. That way made a smidgen of sense.

But no, I never said anything about Clinton's alleged drug use as a qualification for the presidency. I had plenty of other reasons to be skeptical.

J.

Brian: "but Bush's cocaine ... (Below threshold)
Drago:

Brian: "but Bush's cocaine use at 40 was not an issue?"

Brian, you, like the rest of your lefty pals, are liars.

Please cite, specifically, what evidence you have that President Bush ever used cocaine.

Liar.

L. I. A. R.

(note to readers: I suddenly felt afflicted with "lee" disease)

Posted by mantis |... (Below threshold)
Wanderlust:
Posted by mantis | November 5, 2007 1:16 PM

Hey, forget this guy's lawyer - I want Sandy Berger's lawyer.

* suspended sentence;
* small fine: and
* temporary revocation of a high level security clearance for only three years

for removing classified documents from the National Archives?

Sweet!

I have a level-2 clearance myself (Google it!). If I divulge info regarding the project I was once "read into", which was a much lower classification than that whic Mr. Berger held, I can be sentenced to cool my heels in Leavenworth for 20 years.

But Sandy? Suspended sentence, and no problem!

Well, Berger is of course v... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Well, Berger is of course very well connected, politically. Martin, on the other hand, didn't get involved in politics until the early 90s, well after his convictions, at least as far as the WaPo tells it.

Political players connected to families like the Clintons, Kennedys, and Bushes will always get a slap on the wrist for their crimes, if punished at all. Martin's slipperiness is the result of some other strategy, it seems.

And yet, Hillary still sets... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

And yet, Hillary still sets the gold standard with consorting with a fugitive as a campaign fundraiser.

Maybe if this guy was a fri... (Below threshold)
Dirk:

Maybe if this guy was a friend of Ronald Reagan's during the 1984 election, this would matter. But over twenty years ago? Jeez, you lefties sure hold a grudge.




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