Saturday, March 22, 2014

Crushing Weight of Responsibility and Scorn

Every government official deals with scorn.  Americans don't much like government, and even if they do in abstract, they don't like us when they deal with us.

Public Defenders in Idaho have just received a nasty slap in the face.  Here is the bill that the governor will soon sign.  After a year or so of wrangling on a panel made up mostly of law enforcement, and not consisting of one public defender, a bill was then sent to a committee, who sent it to the Idaho State Police and the Prosecutor Association, and it came back like this.

What does it do?  Creates a committee to study things.  Pays them $200 grand.

What else?  Puts an end to paying flat fees to random attorneys for cases, forces counties to have a public defender office or hire a local attorney to act as the public defender on contract.

But as a massive slap in our face, it removed the two year term for public defenders.  Now, the heads of the various offices in our state will serve at the pleasure of county commissioners.  Some of the stupidest, cruelest, most insane people you have ever had the displeasure of encountering.  People who have told us that a monkey could do our job, that pull us in to ask us why it is they are being told by the sheriff and prosecutor that we are using technicalities to get people out of the punishment they deserve.  These clueless bastards will now be free to destroy us at will.

I think part of the problem is that we are terrible at explaining why we are important.  I don't trust the local ACLU, I think they're hacks.  The SAPD are certainly hacks.  And we ourselves, we're tough people to get along with.  The people of Idaho love law and order and hate government.  It's a dichotomy that makes no sense, and it does not seem to help us, because we are not seen as fighting government, but as helping evil.

The odds are NEVER in our favor.  And it exhausts me.  So many years of fighting, and this is what they do to us.  They finally take a look at how bad things are, and all they can bring themselves to do is remove the what little protection we had from political bullshit.

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