Thursday, July 12, 2007

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox scores points from both sides of his mouth

If you think the presidential campaign started early, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox has already started campaigning for governor in 2010. He hopes democrats will reward him in three years for chastising President Bush for commuting Scooter's sentence for lying to federal investigators and a grand jury.

In a Detroit Free Press op-ed, Bush wrong to commute Libby's sentence, Mike Cox wrote that Bush has damaged the criminal justice system by letting a convicted lier escape jail time.

Cox knows as well as anyone that justice was served. No crime was committed regarding the release of Plame's identity (justice served: innocent) and Scooter was found guilty of lying to investigators and the grand jury (justice served: guilty).

The only thing that wasn't served was jail time, which is the president's constitutionally-guaranteed prerogative. It is not unlike the freedom prosecutors enjoy to prosecute whichever crimes they wish and make the deals they feel they must to get the convictions they want. It's called prosecutorial prerogative.

Surely, anyone that watches NBC's Law & Order or has spent the night at a Holiday Inn Express knows that.

In this instance, Cox's hypocrisy may go mostly unnoticed. Some Republicans will complain he's Bush-bashing for political gain, but will likely vote for him anyway. Some Democrats (there are more of those in Michigan than there are Republicans) will believe he's being honest and exercising his independence from Michigan's Republican machinery, and may even consider voting for him.

And who could blame Cox for distancing himself from the state Republican leadership? After recruiting billionaire Dick DeVos that machinery suffocated all other Republican candidates until they promised not to run or dropped out of the race. They then squandered the opportunity to beat a beauty queen presiding over one of our state's worst economies.

Cox isn't an idiot. He's a bright man, and I suspect his op-ed was more about politics than the risks of perjury. But some who can't detect his duplicity might be more disposed to vote for him as Michigan's governor with this superficial op-ed on-record than if it weren't.

I guess we'll have to wait three years to find out.


  1. In a different light, it makes more sense.

    Speculation is that Cox will run for Senate in 08 against Levin. This is much more of an issue to that race than it would be to Gov. in 2010.

  2. That does make more sense. Thanks, Chet.

    Three years does seem a long time wait for an op-ed piece like this to pay dividends.

    I still think the apparent double standard doesn't look good on him. Surely, better points could be scored against Levin with Michigan voters for 2008.

  3. TG, who's your horse in 2010? Not a Cox guy, not a DeVos guy... TLL?

    And I've heard a bit about the Senate thing, too, but that would really really really surprise me if there was any validity to the rumors.

    Despite Levin's many (and rapidly mounting) shortcomings he's still widely viewed as unbeatable.

    2010 represents an opportunity to go up for an open seat.


  4. I think it's probably too early to pick horses for a 2010 election. Heck, I think it's premature to pick horses for 2008!

    For the senate, I admit I really liked Bouchard in 2006. It'll be interesting to see what has or hasn't worked for Levin to know how vulnerable he really may be. Much will depend on Michigan's economy, what's happening in Iraq then, coattails from the presidential election, etc.

    For the governor's race we need more candidates and more debate. Instead of focusing on who the Democratic nominee may be we need to stay focused on who the Republican nominee may be, who the candidates are, discuss the issues from a conservative viewpoint, and be certain the nominee is able to deliver them, stick to them, and be a Republican promoter, as Reagan was, than simply someone saying, "Vote for me, I'll suck less than the other guy."

  5. if attorney general mike cox wants to score big points thoughout michigan, he needs to keep a close eye on the scandals involving detroit mayor kilpatrick. he needs to help wayne county prosecutor kym worthy in making sure kilpatrick is prosecuted.

  6. the more mike cox distances himself from dick de vos the better chance he has. de vos has the money but lacks political sauve.

  7. Hmm...

    I may be a little late in taking credit for it, but I called his race for governor almost two years before he announced it.

    (pats self on back)