Just when you think the Obama administration's performance on justice issues in Alabama can't get any worse . . . it does.
Now we know why Obama waited more than two years to nominate a replacement for Bush appointee Leura Canary in the Middle District of Alabama. He apparently planned to nominate someone who is almost as bad as she is . . . so, why rush it?
George Beck, from the Montgomery firm of Capell and Howard, is the administration's choice, according to a press release issued yesterday. Sources tell Legal Schnauzer that the White House would have needed to strive awfully hard to come up with a worse choice than Beck. The Alabama Democratic Party issued a statement supporting the nomination, which speaks volumes about why Democrats can't win a statewide race in "The Heart of Dixie" to save their souls.
How bad a choice is Beck? Consider a post we wrote on January 7, 2010, which described a possible Beck nomination as a "train wreck."
What do you really need to know about George Beck? Two things:
* His firm has been known as a base of operations for GOP strategist Karl Rove when he comes to Alabama;
* He represented Nick Bailey, the government's star witness in the Don Siegelman case, and allowed prosecutors to browbeat Baily and interview him more than 70 times, including what appears to be blatant coaching.
We outlined the case against Beck in a post from more than a year ago, titled "Is Obama About to Make a Terrible Nomination in Alabama?" Unfortunately, we now know the answer is yes.
We can think of only one explanation for the Beck nomination: Centrist Alabama Democrats, the ones who apparently are in charge of a sinking ship, have decided that Don Siegelman is political kryptonite and they want to distance themselves from him, his case, and his supporters. The centrists seem to be saying, "Hey, maybe the Bush Justice Department was right about Siegelman, so we need to nominate a man whose pathetic representation of a key witness allowed the government to get a conviction."
The White House seems to be saying, "Yeah, that's change we can believe in!"
Never mind that anyone with any knowledge of the facts and the law knows that Siegelman and codefendant Richard Scrushy were railroaded. Never mind that Don Siegelman remains an immensely popular figure among progressives, both in Alabama and nationwide. Never mind that numerous respected individuals in the press and the legal field have stated that the prosecution was without merit. Never mind that Don Siegelman is pretty much the only Democrat remaining who has shown he has a clue about consistently winning statewide races in Alabama.
With George Beck in office, the Republicans who have turned Montgomery, Alabama, into one of the nation's worst political sewers can rest assured that they will never be held accountable. And the Beck nomination represents Alabama Democrats essentially dragging a sharp razor across their own wrists. Death by massive bleeding shouldn't take long.
As for Obama, the Beck nomination might be a warning sign that he is going to have major problems in 2012.